RCG illustration: Darnitra D. Jackson
Before the electronic age made it possible to send messages around the world in a matter of seconds, people could go about their business completely unaware of momentous or catastrophic events happening in another part of the world until the news reached them, long after the fact when there was no need for an immediate response. Today, we witness horrific events in real time and we feel like we need to react, to ‘do something’ even though we are impotent to impact what plays out before our eyes.
We develop a variety of defenses against the frustration we feel from the constant awareness of events beyond our control. Some of us become calloused and fail to react appropriately to happenings in our own neighborhood. Others turn away from all real-world news and escape into entertainment or fantasy. I noticed this morning on Facebook that, in spite of all the distressing and very important news of corruption, terrorism, etc., two of the ‘trending’ stories on social media were about the divorce of a celebrity couple.
While this response to news overload is understandable, it is an abdication of responsibility to ourselves and our society. Ignoring current events, rather than doing whatever we can to make them better, hurts everyone.
Keeping our focus isn’t easy in the modern world, but when we allow distractions to divert us from our responsibilities and possibilities, we fail to accomplish our goals.
The same principal applies to Christians who allow worldly distractions, whether social issues or celebrity gossip, pull our eyes from our main purpose of pleasing God.
Hebrews 12:1 CEV
Such a large crowd of witnesses is all around us! So we must get rid of everything that slows us down, especially the sin that just won’t let go. And we must be determined to run the race that is ahead of us.