So, you may have heard there is an election heading our way. Say what?! Yes, it is true. We get a presidential contest in a global pandemic, along with natural disasters and an inferno of civil unrest and outrage. This news, along with a torrent of other negative updates, surges incessantly from our screens. A stream of heart-wrenching and hopeless accounts.
Oftentimes, this stream feels like a swell of waves dragging me to the depths by a strong current. Then, as I dog-paddle to the top and gasp for breath, I am gripped by the tide and pushed down yet again.
In my journey with Jesus in these COVID days, I’ve asked Him to reveal areas where I need to grow. Areas where I am not leaning on Him, where the stuff of the world is overwhelming me. He’s opened my eyes to the reality that I’ve feasted on too much news and social media (especially Facebook). Too much negativity, meanness, and doom.
“Mindfulness not only makes it possible to survey our internal landscape with compassion and curiosity but can also actively steer us in the right direction for self-care.”
~ Bessel A. van der Kolk
In these momentous days of crashing waves, I am learning to step back with intention because the undercurrent that slogs my soul when I take in too much news ain’t filling me with peace. We were not made for this magnitude of negative intake. Our bodies keep an internal tally of our angst and can mess with us when we don’t think about what we’re thinking about.
I love the book of James because it oozes with insight. In chapter three, James tells us that the wisdom from above is peaceful. And boy do I need wisdom from above in these times. How about you? It takes hard work and intention to care for our inner world. To seek peace. Yet, I believe the Lord is calling us to it.
Consequently, I have begun to practice what I think of as a spiritual detachment. This detachment is a tool that frees me from having an unhealthy relationship with the news and toxic social media posts. It puts me in charge. I get to put up the boundaries. Each morning, I purposely pray and think about how much information and social media I will take in. Some days, I am more resilient. Others not so much. So, when I feel the waves of anxiety begin to jack me up – because I am listening to myself and my boundaries are in place – I can assess and unplug.
Because the wisdom from above is peace, I then turn my eyes on God and the abundant hope that comes from His promises. It really is that simple. Not easy, but simple. Again, it is a practice.
Dear friend, in this election season, gaze with me on the wisdom from above. And as we continue to paddle through these days of crazy, how about we choose the practice of spiritual detachment? Let’s be mindful of our internal world and turn down the hose of negativity while we turn up the hose of hope to full blast!
But the wisdom from above is always pure, filled with peace, considerate and teachable. It is filled with love and never displays prejudice or hypocrisy in any form and it always bears the beautiful harvest of righteousness! Good seeds of wisdom’s fruit will be planted with peaceful acts by those who cherish making peace.
James 3:17, 18