“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
Third, my decision-making must have integrity and honesty. A lot of water has crossed under my bridge in years past and it simply doesn’t make sense to me anymore to participate in activities that demean and mock existence or hopes and dreams. There is always a place for quality commentary and humor, but there is not a place for serious and hurtful degradation and denigration in relationships and in matters of existence.
The thing is, there is so much mystery and uncertainty in life (these are not the same things, by the way) that it hardly makes sense to spend inordinate amounts of time trying to unlock things that are impossible to unlock. Instead, it makes more sense to fully engage in what is good, honest, and fair. Engaging in things like building up relationships, vocation, and faith. Taking care of my part of the world. Keeping an eye out for those around me and who are important to me. Making sure the fires keep burning where they are needed to give comfort and strength.
This may all sound like a lot of words, but it is really easy to be employed by trivia and tasked by inane. There are 500 channels on my TV of which the vast majority are easily categorized as being trivial and inane. The Internet is jam-packed with time-consuming and energy-eating fluff. Most entertainment is hardly even entertainment – in the truest sense of the word. Instead, so much of what is called entertainment is nothing more than styrofoam box packing material – it takes up space but serves no useful purpose in my heart and soul.
Again, this may seem like something that almost doesn’t need saying, but searching for and finding quality and integrity in our existence most assuredly must be done with intentionality. It does take effort to find what is good and precious in life. If, rather, I depend on fair and balanced news reporting, quick 140-word blasts of back-and-forth texting conversations, or self-medicated flights of fancy for my view of existence then absolutely the world will look like a pretty scary, angry, paranoid, and dark place.
There is so much around me that can capture my attention. Some of it is pretty serious stuff. Some of it is just ambient noise. Regardless, however, there is always something trying to work its way into my brain. It keeps rapping rapping rapping until either my brain’s door opens up to it and gives it some attention or my brain simply runs out the door and beats the pesky visitor with a big stick until the attention-wannabe leaves me alone. It is tiring, isn’t it?
So, there needs to be filtering going on almost all of the time. Don’t let garbage pile up on the porch of my soul. Don’t let waste blow up on the threshold of my heart. Don’t let rubbish peek through the window of my mind. Keep it all away – a long way away. Keep it out of the yard, off the block, out of the city, and beyond the state line.
Instead, greet what is quality and has integrity. Say hello to what is good and kind and compassionate. Extend a hand of friendship to that which offers peace and consolation and wisdom. Wave heartily to that which is about love and distinction.
With not too much effort, it is easy to get lost in some dark and depressing swamps. But with some planning, faith, and intent, it is also very possible to stay above the fog on the high-road where there can be peace and understanding.
This will probably be hard to do by myself…