Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

We need to remember our goodness, especially these days.

I believe all the great spiritual teachings reveal the expansiveness of God. They point us beyond ourselves to a bigger God than we could imagine. It can be overwhelming. How do we connect with the vastness of the divine? How do we know these truths deep in our bones?

One of my spiritual teachers says: “The universal has to become particular, so the particular can become universal.”

I think it’s a perfect time to remind you of the spiritual truth that the universe is rigged for goodness. 

No, really it is. 

No matter your faith tradition, when God creates, God calls God’s creation good. In fact, when God gets to humankind, the rhythm of the creation poem skips a beat, and God looks upon humankind and says, “They are very good.” We need to remember our goodness, especially these days.

I encountered this universal truth in particular ways in our neighborhood recently. A few weeks ago, my wife and I walked through our own neighborhood when two dogs darted out of a yard to greet us. A teenage boy ran after them; when he approached, he said to us, “I’m sorry, I can’t get too close to you because of COVID.” 

We asked, “Oh, do you have the virus?” 

He replied, “I don’t have it, but my grandpa has cancer, and if he got the virus, it would be really bad. I’m just extra careful because of him.” 

A teenage boy who knew his life was bigger than his own — a teenager who could see beyond himself and took extraordinary measures to ensure his grandpa’s health. The whole thing is rigged for goodness.

Just last month, my daughter and I ventured out in the rain to go to my office to pick up a stack of books. As we walked into the building, we talked about 2020 and how much we were looking forward to 2021. 

When we emerged from the building, we were greeted by a complete double rainbow. We rolled our windows down and lifted our eyes to the sky in wonder and amazement. We drove down extra streets in search of the end of the rainbow. 

I’ll always remember that drive and the rainbow over our neighborhood and city, reminding us that not only are we going to be OK, but that we are held in the eternal arms of the divine. 

The whole thing is rigged for goodness, a promise made manifest in a rainbow — a visible sign of God’s covenant and love. The universal become particular so that the particular could become universal.

My friends and neighbors, the world is rigged for goodness.

With great hope,


Rev. Matthew Ruffner is the Senior Pastor at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. He is a husband to Sarah Ruffner and a father of two. You can follow Matthew on Instagram at @thisismatthewruffner and visit to watch the church’s live stream and listen to sermons.

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