Rising Above the Muck

Seek good and not evil… Amos 5:14a

7.9.20 Rising Above the Muck

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

The older my kids get, the more I see the influence their peers have on them. They parrot their friends’ vocabulary, take on their mannerisms and behavior, and play video games based on their recommendations. For the most part, I’m okay with that because their friends are good people.

However, it does reinforce the fact that who and what we surround ourselves with has a direct impact on us, whether we realize it or not.

There’s no doubt the media serves us well when it blows the whistle on injustice and wrong doing. The next step is to somehow make a change to correct those wrongs.

It feels, especially as of late, that the media is stuck on Step 1 of the process. They know calamity reels us in, captivates us in the rubber-necking syndrome, and has us coming back for more. I don’t know about you, but when I get stuck in their net of doom and gloom, my outlook heads in the same direction.

Like my kids who take on their friends’ behaviors, I sink my teeth into the darkness the media feeds, and then I chew on it. That toxic food strips me of all motivation, entices me to indulge in my own vices in order to escape, and has me seeing evil at every turn.

If my kids’ friends EVER had that impact on them, I would intervene in a heartbeat. It’s not okay for someone or something to drag my kids down with their bad influence. I presume every mom out there feels the same way.

Why is it, then, that we’d demand a change if our kids were in this situation, but we don’t demand a change for ourselves? Are we too afraid to turn off the TV, or put down our phones, for fear of being uninformed? Do we feel like we have some remnant of control if we’re up to speed on the disasters in the world?

I learned a long time ago that I’m not someone who is going to change the world on a large scale. Therefore, the world news that plummets me into hopelessness serves no positive purpose.

I can, however, make a positive impact on my family, and my small corner of the world. In fact, that’s what I feel I’m called to do. But I can’t accomplish that if I’m stuck in the quicksand of defeatism.

There was a post on Facebook recently about an old man who ignored the media’s headlines, and instead, made his own. He sought out the good and wrote positive headlines about it on his heart: “Stranger Pays for Coffee for Another,” “Kids Cheer Up The Elderly,” etc.

If you’re like me, that’s a far better way to live. With each act of kindness I see, writing that headline on my heart lifts me above the muck. It then inspires me to emulate the behavior to keep the news cycle going in the right direction.

Questions for Reflection:

     * What effect does keeping up with the headlines have on me?

     * How can I make a positive impact to get the news cycle headed in a positive direction?

6 thoughts on “Rising Above the Muck

  1. Excellent, Claire!!! And just the reminder I need to see the good that surrounds us, we just need to be open to it! xoxo

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    • Thanks so much, Mom! It’s funny how my awareness of the good goes hand in hand with how much or how little muck I let into my world. If I’m too submerged in the muck, I’m blind to all the good. The real trick is to be aware of what’s going on in the world but be even more aware of the good others are doing all the time.

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  2. The news really can be a downer, but your blog always lifts my spirit and sets my eyes to the bigger picture GOD has and is painting.
    Thanks for being a light in the “muck”!! 🙂

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  3. Muck: Perfectly descriptive word for that sticky wet dirt in our natural world we’ve all experienced on our boots at one time or another. All the more, a perfect analogy for that mental, destructive muck of negative, disturbing, often slanted and untruthful news broadcasts each of us get stuck in as soon as we turn on the TV or radio. The challenge is, how do we avoid burying our heads in the sand concerning current disturbing conditions in our country and in our world, yet not get mired in that harmful muck to our spirits? Knowing the well-known slogan, a commandment, I believe, in all news industries, “If it bleeds, it leads,” we can’t wait for any change in their reporting policies. But like the inspiring “old man” you described, who used Facebook to spread positive, truthful stories about loving, caring people in our world, we can surely take time to read these positive stories when they come to us, let their truth uplift our spirits, and become ourselves ever more inspired to reach out to others in kind, loving ways, as the Spirit directs us each day. Then … and this is a challenge for me … if we can discipline ourselves to shorten our TV viewing of news stations, allowing a limited time to keep up to date on current events, etc. and spend more time in earnest prayer, prayer to know the truth and not be deceived, prayer for our leaders, and for all our brothers and sisters who experience injustice, prayers of trust that our God is still in control and protects us daily through all the present turbulence, with His Love, Peace, Reassurance and Guidance … prayers of Gratitude for keeping us safely and daily out of the muck!!!

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    • Such beautiful truths, Jackie! The ones that resonated the most with me where: the fact that God is still in control, and that praying for our leaders is the best weapon in our arsenal. It should be used to repel the muck, the untruths, and fortify the spiritual and physical well being of our country.

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