spiritual life, writing

Life 101: 4 lessons from the news

“A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.” Arthur Miller, American playwright

Watching the news in the last few weeks has been sobering. No matter how you look at it, America and, indeed, the world are not in their finest hour. As writing news is what I do for a living, however, I may look at the unending mayhem in a different way. One, news reports can give direction to our prayers. Two: News offers continual talking points for parents.

The latter is what has particularly been on my mind lately. Mid-life mom and church lady that I am, I’ve come up with four news-illustrated truths I hope will sink deep into our daughters’ souls and minds.

  1. We live in a fallen world; so don’t expect life to be “fair.” Hurricanes can sweep your house down. You might not get the job, the man, the situation you want, or at least not when you want. There is way more illness and injury, abuse and neglect than you will ever want to know about. Justice is not always served. Sometimes, in fact, the guilty go unpunished and the righteous are murdered in the street. (God knows exactly what happened to you and who did it, my slain fellow journalists! Your blood cannot be silenced.)
  2. Some people will take a bullet for you; others are not even safe to be around. There is often a very sad backstory and God is able to deliver, but some people are just not safe. Wise people will take this into account and not put themselves or their children into situations in which their well-being is dependent on the goodwill or lawfulness of unproven acquaintances, particularly those who are drunk or high.
  3. God is able. No matter how corrupt the official, the organization or even the church — God is able. No matter how violent, how hellbent the offender — God is able. No matter how sick, how disabled, how unemployed, how tragic, how hopeless, how suicidal, how loveless the situation appears to be — God is able. Therefore: Don’t try to keep Him in a tiny box. Set God loose in your life and see for yourself that He is good.
  4. And so are you. Because He is good, your hope is pinned on something that will not fail or disappoint — no matter how impossible the news makes such a thing seem. You can make wise choices. You can rise above this troubled world. You can hope. You can help. You can shine with joy instead of living in fear. So, go. Shine on and on and on!

9 thoughts on “Life 101: 4 lessons from the news”

      1. Joy, it really is a terrible time to be a parent, and has been since the early 2000s. We apparently have no rights in this country. Let’s take one example. Raising your child on Christian videos about the bible, banning media not rated suitable for children, having all the filters on home gadgets, listening to Christian and classical radio, taking them on educational outings, etc.

        Then they go to school, which allows a primary school child to play South Park etc on their phone, in the classroom. Sending them to a Christian school, where the rule is no phones at break times, no social media on their school laptops, but both are tolerated. On the bus twice a day they get a total of more than 1 1/2 hrs of talk and music that offends your values. This bus runs to two Christian schools, but the schools don’t care. That’s just the schools, doesn’t cover the parents on sleepovers, you can ban them going to them but not really daytime birthday parties.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is a difficult time, but God is at work in every generation. My husband and I talk about this a lot, particularly as our kids reach new levels of schooling.

        We opted for public schools from the get-go BECAUSE we wanted our children to be exposed to wrong choices and learn to say “no” when the stakes were quite low so that those skills would be in place as the stakes get huge. We wanted give God room in their lives to create a true desire for what’s right instead of us creating a setting in which what’s right is about the only choice.

        It’s not always pretty. We’re out there mixing it up with a sin-saturated culture. But, we’re praying and hoping for adults who know why they want righteousness and have the moxie to pursue it. We are limited as parents, but God is totally able.

        Liked by 1 person

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