Twitter is such an angry place. Facebook can be. All news channels can be. The old-fashioned newspapers are too, lots of negative, lots of fear. The political rhetoric is outlandish right now. I’ve read that young people are becoming more and more despondent over the state of our world. I don’t blame them. As of late, it feels like we have so many things to be concerned about.
Every single time, I get like this, I have to draw myself back, kicking and screaming, to the present moment. I have to put my phone down, turn off the tv and ask myself, what do I see, feel and hear in this present moment?
This weekend, the present moments included a trip back to the college where my husband and I met. Memories are embedded in the landscape and buildings there for us. It was our son, living in the dorm his dad lived in…such a full circle feeling. It was a visit to see our sweet grandsons. Sunny, end-of-summer precious days by the pool with them. Watching the five month old grimace but triumphantly eat green beans. It was hugs, laughs and toddler kisses. In the past week, it was all three of our grown kids connecting with us, asking advice, telling us funny things…just being amazing human beings in our mixed up world.
As I write, right now, it is with the window cracked and the sound of rain, a respite from the oppressive Texas heat and the feeling that fall will likely come…such a beautiful and hopeful idea.
I try not to write about things that are overstated. I try not to throw more words into the universe unless they really need to be said.
This scripture, Philippians 4:8, seems like it could never be said enough, If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Sarah Young writes, This may sound easy but it’s actually quite countercultural….it’s even contrary to human nature. Jesus Always, p. 258.
Or consider The Message translation, Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious–the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse.
Does the world seem negative and harsh right now? Is social media unbearable? Here’s an idea, don’t add to it. Don’t post anything that would not support this Biblical idea. Disconnect from the negativity you’ve been consuming and generating. Draw yourself into the present moment. Consider what is right before your eyes in the here and now. Think on these things. Be these things.
Dr. Cindy Ryan is a pastor, wife, mother of three, Mimosa to Keller and Pace and breast cancer survivor.