I’ve been watching a few episodes of the ABC-TV series , “Designated Survivor,” which apparently starts with the bombing of the capital building which kills off all but two representative and senators and many of the top government officials. So that the Secretary of HUD becomes the president of the United States. The ‘designated survivor,’ one U.S. Representative, is so indebted to the bombers for saving his life that He has to follow their agenda. He becomes the vice-president. At his swearing-in ceremony the president is shot and ends up in surgery and the vice-president takes over as the interim president.
I have stopped watching this very engaging series for one reason: it makes me more fearful and paranoid. Watching this series which depicts a scenario very much more bizarre and threatening than any current reality brings me face to face with the fear and anxiety that mark today’s world. And I don’t want to be drawn off my place of peace by something that isn’t even real.
As it is I have to keep my news intake to a minimum for the same reason—I refuse to let what is going on in the world to determine my state of being. I will rest in the arms of Jesus Christ. I will be blessed by his peace. But it is up to me to be aware of him as often as I can be throughout my days, and then He is present to me, to help, to guide, to inspire, to hold me.
(If we were talking about my diet instead of my spiritual life, it would be me avoiding sugary foods, because I have a sugar addiction which in the past has had me buying candy bars daily. I work to keep my sugar intake to a minimum, so that my weight doesn’t go up and I keep my food intake healthy.)
The fear and anxiety today are palpable. They are the backdrop of our lives, always present, always inviting us to either engage in them or to run from them to our own detriment. This is the state of the world today and if we want to keep our sanity, our peace of mind, we need to distance ourselves from anything that would pull us into their grasp.
Are there people, broadcasts and other things that we need to avoid?. Do we ever think about what gives your life meaning and peace and love? Do we ever reach for the deeper stuff? Have we thought about this at all? About knowing the things that suck life, joy and peace from us and choosing what gives us energy, joy and life to the fullest? Maybe our “diets” should cut out what drains us and add in what really gives us joy.
Does our phone/TV/games/reading/shopping actually add to your life or suck the marrow from it? Are they merely a distraction from what is going on, but certainly not a cure? Would we be willing to reach instead for the discipline that will enable us to maintain all that we are in the face of today’s anxiety or will we continue to run from the reality that surrounds us?
Jesus points the way here to sanity in the face of doubt and great fear: “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
If we live in the truth about ourselves and our world, we will be invited to seek an alternative way to live. We might give voice to our own hopes and fears. We might write/draw/paint/speak truth to power. We might take our power from the presence of the Living Christ and be what He needs us to be in this world. Does depending on our phones, TV’s and other avenues of escape make us deaf and blind to the Lord? Are we hoping against hope that we won’t hear His call, that we won’t respond with the “Yes!” He is due. How long will we ignore the great neediness in the world? How long will we ignore or refuse to hear our own call? How long will we confirm all that Jesus said about those who will not see nor hear?
This is our time and our lives which are on the line. Will we just continue to bury our heads, to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to what is clearly being asked of us? Will you, will I hear the call and act on that call? I highly recommend this article by a techie who has set aside his phone and what that choice has given back to his life:
Questions to ponder over the week: Am I just escaping from the fear and anxiety that fill our world or am I really dealing with them in my life? Am I making choices that enhance my life? Do I even know what drains me and what fills me? Do I delve deeper into my life, do I pray to God for the knowledge I need?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who are so attuned to His Indwelling Spirit that we make good choices even in the face of a difficult situation. May we turn to Him in everything. May we walk hand and hand with our God.
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I am collecting conversion stories. I am still not sure what the Lord’s intention is for collecting these, but if you would care to share yours, I would only use your initials to identify the author.
 John 8:32