(Lord Have Mercy)
I opened up my computer this late morning to work and as I glanced over the Yahoo News cover page that opened up with the at&t wifi connection I am using, I took note of most of the article titles. I won’t go into any specifics, but we can all pretty much call to mind the kind of content of most news pages, magazines, radio stations, etc in these recent years. I usually feel dark, disappointed, and heavy-hearted more often than feeling encouraged, enlightened, or inspired. I wonder at the lens I’m looking through in reading this kind of coverage. Is this reality? Or is this only a dismal selection of reality–a limited highlight of the low-lights of life. As an intelligent member of society, I have the ability to see, experience, and contribute to a very different sort of life if I want to.
I can make choices.
I can have discernment and exercise wisdom and temperance. I can decide not to indulge or participate in the distasteful. I can forsake mindless consumption. I can celebrate and perpetuate good.
But I have to be paying attention.
I have to resist the temptation to seek distraction. I have to cultivate good thoughts and good influence in my life and develop a perspective that’s edifying to myself, my family, and my community. I can’t do that without choosing to be intentional. That means sometimes turning off the mobile device of whatever kind, walking away, changing the channel, turning the station, picking the book, choosing the company, making the time, having the conversation, taking the action.
In my moment of being bombarded with a lot of trashy gossip plastered across my computer, I looked up from my computer to grasp some perspective and maybe some hope from the physical world around me. I saw 10 out of 15 people just sitting or standing there looking into their smart phone screens. I can’t help but wonder what we’re all plugged into…and how many of us are plugged into it.
I feel the reality of the narrowness of the road I am choosing to travel —not having a smart phone and being unplugged from social media–but even in that I cannot fully escape from influences I’d rather not engage with. Today all I can say for myself and the world around me is those simple, all-encompassing words:
Lord Have Mercy
We need Him. We need His mercy. We are so good at choosing that which would ultimately bring our dismantling. We seek comfort and easy answers–easy solutions, but really, Lord, we need the severe mercy of your rod and your staff. Lead us into life; restore us to wholeness.