whatever is right, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable
--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--
think about such things."
i've been on an internet news binge for the last few weeks. it began with the jaycee dugard case and has culminated with the annie le [missing yale student] case. every headline in between is death, discord, evil... with the occasional celebrity debauchery. consequently, the decaying effects on my mind - and my spirit - have not gone unnoticed. a disheveling of sorts. some ambiguous unsettling within me, marked by discouragement; and fear; and a disheartening for the world around me. a burden that leads to helplessness; or perhaps, stems from helplessness. my heart has been troubled and i'm finding that, for me, there is the finest of lines between the necessity of staying informed and the necessity to guard my heart. in fact, i'm starting to believe that staying informed isn't so much of a necessity at all in light of, oh - say- eternity.
one of my courses this semester is mass media & society, the basis of which is the theory that the mass media is a reflection of society and vice versa. one glance at the headlines and one can conclude: there is nothing good in the mass media. in fact, there is so much of the opposite, it runs the risk of paralyzing us both mentally and spiritually. the headlines read much like paul's second letter to timothy:
"people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." ~ 2 timothy 3
if paul were to write a letter to me today, i have a sneaking suspicion he'd probably say something like, "yea, i told you so... two thousand years ago. now, stop spending your time reading news articles and start spending that time in the Word. stop looking at just whatever and set your mind on the whatevers: whatever is true, whatever is noble... you know the rest."
a few weeks ago, Dr. Jim Shaddix shared a humorous piece of wisdom with us: God is not going to answer us regarding things He's already written down. it's humorous because we often find ourselves praying and waiting for God to reveal to us an answer that He's already written; or reveal to us a truth that is already in His word. i laughed as he gave some examples and yet, in my humanness, find myself doing the same thing. what then was the answer for this? what should i do, Lord? bury my head in the sand? keep my head in the clouds? ...
"The most important," answered Jesus, "is this: Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength." (Mark 12:29-30)