One of my early morning rituals is reading many different news outlets. This means I know just enough about current events to be dangerous.
Yesterday, I noticed something that helped me understand how skewed the world is.
The lead story was not the unjustified war in Ukraine, the rampant drug abuse that continues to destroy so many, domestic violence, alcoholism, or rising prices.
The lead story was about the drama surrounding Sunday night’s Academy Awards, when one actor slapped the other.
Why is it when one privileged zillionaire gets offended and slaps another on a live broadcast in front of millions of people, there is shock, outrage, and offense?
What about mental illness, homelessness, poverty, war, political gridlock in Washington D.C., a congressman convicted of a felony, the brush fires that are burning Texas to the ground, or the draught that is drying up the western part of our nation?
Before becoming a pastor, I served as an officer in the army. I was a tanker. I reported to Major Jones. His profound, sometimes salty wisdom, always stuck with me.
Once, as a young lieutenant, I, along with the other junior officers in the squadron, was in a heated debate about which tanks should be priority for parts that were in short supply. As the conversation descended into a shouting match, Major Jones stopped the meeting, looked at all his young officers and said, “Gentleman, we are now pole-vaulting over mouse turds.”
This crass, graphic statement brought back sanity and the issues were resolved in an amicable way.
When I see how our society makes mountains out of molehills, I want to echo Major Jones profound words.
So, in this confusing world where you may be tempted to obsess and pole-vault over different issues, remember Paul’s wise words: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
Don’t let the world set the direction of your gaze. Let God do it. You’ll be glad you did.
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, help me see what really matters and what doesn’t. I pray my priorities in life reflect your will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
I think God isn’t near as concerned about pampered actors slapping each other as God is about the horrific suffering in this world. That’s where God wants us to focus and make a difference.
I pray we never let God down.
Also, just for the record, I don’t talk like Major Jones because, if I said what he said to all his young officers, I would have to find a new career. But don’t think I haven’t thought about it.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.