Not so long ago, I loved to study, learn new things. Not only that, I loved to write about what I was seeing and learning along the roads on which I traveled. At a quick glance, as days clicked by with waning desire to read, engage in conversation, and write- I blamed busyness; or the holiday season. Days turned into weeks, and it is more appealing to bury myself in some good fiction than engage in my usual quest to learn and grow…why, I ask myself? No answers, at least nothing rang true. Writer’s block popped into my head, but no. First, you would have to have the desire to put pen to paper or fingers to keys. I haven’t.
Now, weeks have turned into months. I try to work around the lack of desire and forge forward. Let’s crack open the Word, research a topic…it lasts for a short while, but the fiction calls or a movie seems in order. Or worse yet, housework calls to me. Now don’t get me wrong, I like a tidy house; but cleaning has never shouted louder than the desire to study, learn, or put pen to paper! So, what is going on, I wonder? Who is this person I seem to be becoming? Is this just a different or temporary season? I don’t know about you; but when experiencing something, it can be easy to slip into thinking, “am I the only one going through this?” From experience I know that’s rarely the case. Despite all our differences, we humans are more alike than we realize.
Though, I have searched my heart; questioned in my mind – the only thing I have been able to come up with is that life is complicated and convoluted. Never before in history have we been so bombarded with information!
We live in a day, at least in America, where news is available from 4:30 a.m. until 8:00 a.m.; 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.; and at 9, 10, and 11 p.m. with reruns available during the night. We have 24-hour news channels, online news, constant updates, newspapers, magazines, and social media. Most of the reports are negative, violent, or tragic and often reported in ‘real time.’ Then there are the many replays throughout the day. Thankfully, I gave up tv news for the most part in the early 2000’s, between biased reporting and my son in Iraq, it seemed prudent for my sanity. Even so, if you use a computer for work, research, etc.; newsfeeds bombard you with the headlines.
Last night. We met with our regular Tuesday night Bible Study. We broke bread together, shared prayer requests, ‘skyped’ with one of our folks that could not be with us, and got into the Word much as we always do. Somewhere in the discussion of the passage, the word perspective came up. Oh boy, did that word click in my mind! It resonated so much in my heart that I figuratively wrote it in bold letters on a post-it note and placed it in a prominent place in my mind so I would come back to it when I came home and was in a quiet place to ponder it more. Is it possible that where I have found myself lately is a direct result of an unrealized shift in perspective that had happened gradually? Lord God, through your grace, please give me eyes to see and wisdom to make good choices about what my eyes see, and ears hear.
Before the Internet, hard to imagine, I know; information took longer to disseminate. It could take days to get news from another area of the world, and today we have it in minutes or less. These reports aren’t the only thing flooding into our screens: gossip and intimate details of the lives of celebrities and politicians abound. On that note, everyone has an opinion about said news and gossip and few are shy to share that opinion. Next comes arguments about those opinions, which more often than not disintegrates into foul obscenities, horrible name calling, and trying to silence those who are not of like mind. Tweet after tweet, post after post, late night after late night, story after story… Is this truly the inheritance we want to leave for our children and our children’s children?
Honestly, there really was a time when reporters reported the facts of the story without opinion or personal bias. There was also a time when biased and unkind statements about others were not tolerated; innocent until proven guilty meant something. A time when though you disagreed with another’s opinion; you remained respectful towards the person. Civility reigned as did civil debate. Disagreement did not equal disassociation but working together to come to a place both parties could tolerate. It was a time when even though ugliness and unkindness existed, it was not in vogue and openly tolerated and celebrated by publically flaunting itself. Again, what is the inheritance we want to leave for our children and our children’s children? Oh, how I hope it’s not the first, but too often this is the world in which we live.
Yep, no Calgon will take this away. From experience, neither will burying our head in a good, clean fiction book. It could be that it’s gone too far out of control, tolerated beyond the point of return – I hope not. Social media has become anything but social. It used to be a fun, uplifting way to connect over the miles and encourage. Now it’s more political, harsh, and maddening. Dear Lord, Please give us wisdom and right perspective.
I don’t know about you, but I could use a good dose of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; against such things, there is no law! And then there is grace; we need a whole lot of grace!
Grace and peace to you my friends!