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I Know Too Much and It’s Breaking My Heart

Planet Fitness keeps me coming back with its updated equipment and friendly staff, ready to assist one who seeks to create a healthier body. As I attempt to beat myself on the elliptical, my eyes are bombarded with 10 TVs vying for my attention. Trying to fix upon one program during the workout, my ADD kicks in and I find myself flitting from “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” to “Dr. Phil”’s counsel to “The Doctors’” remedies to FOX News criticisms to CNN’s spin to local news’ tragedies. Trying to get my heart rate down, my blood pressure goes up as disturbing images and talking heads propagate their points of view.

Can someone please pull the plug on the tube?! Were we meant to receive a constant input diet rich in violent images, horrific storm damages, political polarizations, murder scenes, car wrecks, and the like? And are we supposed to observe the international atrocities on an ongoing basis? Am I the only one who is feeling simply overwhelmed by it all?

My digital TV (or is it a satellite??) has over 1,000 stations to watch. OVER ONE THOUSAND. Who can stand all the movie violence overload or the bizzaro sex scenes or the intense war displays without shutting down and shutting out your emotions? TV programming has pushed the limits of indecency and disrespect (sorry if I’m sounding old now) creating a numb generation…or maybe an anxious generation (Xanax anyone??).

This entire information overload wasn’t meant for our psyches to absorb. There is only One who can not only handle the chaos, but HE can DO something about it. I am so very limited and therefore frustrated. I cannot change the images on my screen but I can pray. And I can choose NOT to view it all…not to overload myself with those fearful facades. Let’s face it; we are not getting the full story anyway. And the parts that do seem true, I can cast upon my God and He can carry the weight of it.

Jesus lived as a human for approximately 33 years, never having access to social media or TV. He was kept quite busy with the people He availed Himself to. And when His precious friend, Lazarus, died the bible account simply says, “Jesus wept.” If JESUS, “who is the image of the invisible God” was deeply affected by this one sad incident, how much more can we withstand the woes of the world as limited-understanding beings?! We have expanded our tent pegs to include all the news, and as the slogan goes, “As the Times Speaks, the World Listens.” But make no mistake, we weren’t geared to listen to it ALL. Our pharmaceuticals have proven this true. We don’t ever have to leave our living rooms to be encumbered by the disturbing loops eagerly played by our news media gurus.

Can I suggest we learn to limit our viewing? This might feel like fasting from our favorite food and the intense cravings for what we will miss will seem unbearable. But it is not. We can have victory over media barrages. Most of us know the scripture, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Ah, but do we? We read it and it’s like we completely ignore what it’s saying because we realize something concerning input has got to change. When the cardiologist suggests a diet change because your arteries are getting clogged and you’ll need bypass surgery or a valve replacement to save your life, he isn’t being difficult or dramatic. He’s helping you to live. As Paul admonishes the Philippian believers to focus on all of the above, he is caring for the Body as God Himself called him to do. We can shrug it off as a suggestion or we can evaluate what we’re letting into our minds…the frequency and the quantity…and we can adjust accordingly. You never know, we just might experience a bit more joy, a little less stressed-out moments, and a little more ability to minister to those who are right in front of our faces.

I know way too much and so do you. My heart aches as I see all the scenarios I have no ability to change. Yet, as the news media fades into the background of my mind, I see more clearly the needs at hand, those things I can touch and hold and encourage…and just possibly, have an effect for change.

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Lori Travers

Lori finds the Joy of the Lord to be her strength. Born and raised an Italian Jersey girl, she has finally settled in the south as Reynolda Presbyterian church became her new home. Ministry to women, reading, writing, cooking, and anything having to do with animals are her sweet spots. Having a background in cardiac testing, she chose to stay home and raise three incredible children who are now married, and currently has 2 precious granddaughters and one faithful husband of 34 years.

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