A few years ago I made a commitment to myself to become more informed about what was going on the world around me. I realized that I had insulated myself in a little bubble and felt convicted that it was time to pull my head out of the sand and take a look around. About the same time I also started watching my Twitter feed more. I thought it would be an interesting way to keep up with what people were saying about topics in the news.
Three years later I’m exhausted. It seems like there is breaking news every fifteen minutes and what would have been the central focus in the news for a week or two, sometimes even longer, now lasts about a nano second. I have allowed myself to be consumed by the immediate public crisis.
It’s not that I don’t think the things going on in the world are important. There are some course altering things going on in our country right this very minute. Things that I find outrageous. Things that break my heart. Things that worry me. So, being informed and alert seems vital if I want to be able to navigate through it all.
I fear we are turning into the reality shows we’ve been watching. I never have liked Survivor and I find myself wandering where the hell is the rescue boat. At the same time, I’m certain that staying stirred up about it is robbing me of needed energy. Adrenaline mode is unsustainable for the long haul. So, today I’m considering ways to maintain some semblance of peace.
Sometimes I wonder how Jesus, in the fullness of his humanity, would have handled Twitter. What would his comments have been about the latest oppressive action from the Roman Empire? Would he have complained about the hypocrisy of the religious institution? Would he have ranted at his disciples continued misunderstanding of the mission at hand? Would he have boasted about his latest healing? I think not.
Wouldn’t it be interesting to hear the stream of consciousness of his thoughts?
Somehow I think that Jesus would have taken the news and his Twitter feed with a grain of salt. Not that he wouldn’t have felt outrage at the injustice he saw but, I don’t think he would have allowed himself to be taken captive in the way I have with the latest sensationalized headline or tweet.
I think one of the reasons for this is that Jesus knew how to maintain the long view. The bigger picture. The God picture. The picture of God’s activity and plan in the world. The plan to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven, which Jesus declared was at hand. When the chaos became loud he knew how to step out of it into the sacred space of solitude and silence.
Time and time again in scripture we see that Jesus, after having healed or taught or been involved in a significant encounter, would get away from the crowd. From the chaos. From the chatter of the day. He would go to a quiet place and pray. He would take time to listen for the renewal of God’s call. He was consistent in this practice and from what I can tell he didn’t let the urgent distract him from the important.
I so need to remember this lesson today. And I wonder if, perhaps, you could use a word of encouragement in this too. While things in the world today are polarized and tense and full of hateful rhetoric and division, it is important to remember that God, who is Love, is still sovereign and still has the last Word (and the first as well). Embodied in the flesh in Jesus, that Word lives on today.
Truth. Mercy. Forgiveness. Justice that redeems, heals, and restores. Generosity. Hospitality are all syllables of God’s Word calling the world today as it always has. Sometimes it’s just hard to hear it in the midst of all of the yelling.
If you too have been a bit worn out by the constant public chaos that swirls around us, take heart and be encouraged. The small voice that is heard in the sacred space of quiet is within you and me today and every day. It’s there inviting us and waiting to soothe, calm, strengthen, and encourage us. I pray you will take some time to step outside of the noise so you can hear the sweet whisper of Love.
Something to chew on…