Where Is the Positive Story?

Recently, someone suggested that I write about something which is good and positive, as we are experiencing and are confronted with so much which is bad and negative. When I thought about this, I was reminded of a poem by famous German author, writer and poet Erich Kästner (1899-1974). Kästner is well-known as an author of books for children and young adults, but he was also a very deep thinker and “moralist.” The German poem was written in 1930, with the title, “Und wo bleibt das Positive, Herr Kästner?” In English, we might say, “Where is the positive story, Mr. Kästner?”

Especially two stanzas of the poem are quite telling and relate to the subject of this Editorial. I have tried to translate them into English, as close to the literal German as I could, but with special focus on the gist and substance of his message:

“And you keep sending me many letters,

in which you write, underlined in bold:

‘Mr. Kästner, where is the positive story?’

The devil may tell you, it’s hot when it’s cold.

“You want me to put it nicely together,

and think that it will then stick and hold?

I don’t want to cheat. I will not betray you.

The time is black, the truth must be told.”

And so, we must tell the Truth today as well and warn the people what is about to happen (which will be much more horrible than when Kästner wrote his poem in 1930, anticipating the growth of the Nazi Party, the rise of Adolf Hitler and even the outbreak of World War 2). We must never ignore or whitewash the black or dark times in which we live—times which will become much darker. We must never cheat and betray the people by claiming that everything is alright, and that with the right political leadership, things will get much better and America will become great again. But as Kästner wrote books for children and young adults to give them hope and fun and enjoyment and a focus on the “positive” side of life, so must we today… and even more so.

We are to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God in all the world as a witness. The word gospel means “good news” or “glad tidings.” Certainly, it must include a warning message of things to come, and we must cry aloud like a trumpet (a soft and uncertain sound wakes no one up), but even that message is good and positive, as at least some might listen, consider and repent.  But in preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, we announce to this world the best and most positive message there could ever be: The return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of God’s righteous rule here on earth. And it includes the announcement that man can become a member of the Kingdom of God—the Family of God.

In this evil world, filled with suffering and pain, we can have joy—and as parents, we can and should communicate this joy to our children, by how we live, what we say and what we do. We are to follow the example of Jesus Christ who “for the joy that was set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2), endured all adversity, even “the cross,” while despising “the shame.” We should likewise focus on the joy which is set before us—the joy of becoming God beings within a few years from now; the joy of helping to eradicate all evil and to help mankind to live in peace and freedom—and when we do that, we will also be able, with God’s help, to cope with the challenges of life.

In transcending the present and visualizing the future, we embrace hope, trust, confidence and the conviction that within a few short years, we will have reached our incredible human potential and our ultimate destiny—by becoming God, because He IS our destiny! And that is the positive story!

©2024 Church of the Eternal God