It’s Pretty Bad

I have to admit it. It’s pretty bad. Turn on the media and immediately discover that highlighted world events are heavily weighted toward pain, suffering and destruction. Yesterday for example. I heard that the multi millions of dollars paid as kidnap ransoms by European governments to organizations like the ‘Al Qaeda’ in Africa is financing their killing machines. You can do lots with billions of dollars of ransom money. Apparently gangs and tribal clans kidnap the foreigners and ‘sell’ them to organizations who want to offer them up for ransom. European Governments and corporations pay well. Sounds like the 21st Century version of 19th Century slavery. Can’t beat the cash gain. The European taxpayer pays the bill. This is reported calmly and nonchalantly as if this is just the way the world is. Better learn to put up with it. Closer to home we have the flood of children on the US border to escape the gang lawlessness in Honduras and countries further north. Don’t do what the gangs want and they don’t just kill you. They take out your parents, brothers and sisters too. Maybe a friend or two or a neighbor who comes to your aid. It is easy to understand why mothers would send minors alone to the USA for even the slightest hope for life. The stories of human atrocity are so disgusting that I empathize with those who want to believe it is fabrication. Oh that it was. Whatever happened to the results of all that ‘foreign aid’ poured into countries to help build up the people’? It began in the 19th Century and continues to this day. Where are the human building results? Government at best builds management infrastructure,bureaucracies, administrative paycheck jobs. They don’t build people. People learn from each other. How to think. How to react. How to live. Bad religion teaches bad religion just as good religion provides an entrance to a meaningful future. I prefer to turn the radio off. Shut down the TV. Limit access to the print media. I don’t want my thinking to be perverted by the global turbulence that exists even on my own home turf today. Don't get me wrong. I am not into denial, ignorance or apathy. I just know that I must first know who I am, who I must become and be firmly grounded in this before I drop myself into the murkiness of human irrationality and the illogic of human violence and behaviors that are prolific in all fronts of the public media. This includes the voice of ‘the neighbor’ who gets a full dose of it every second. I cannot resign myself to believe that this is how life was meant to be. I doubt that you can too. We humans need grounding in the belief that we are made in the ‘image of God’. The ‘God of life and life in its fullness’. Not the gods of death and destruction. Can you imagine what would happen if our thinking and our actions gravitated from the ‘image’ of being the ‘image of God? It would be impossible to mistreat another human. Even the atheist could accept that! Most would agree that we humans were not created to be complacent, non reactive consumers of life as it is dished up to us according to someone else's plan. We were created to become something from the abilities that God placed within us. This is not the same as thinking good about myself, accepting myself as I am, being nice to others, trying to improve ‘me’, judging everything by my invisible standard as if my standard of measure is okay. Nor is it resignation or giving up on the hope of life. Achieving perfection is beyond the reach of us mortals but excellence is not. Being in ‘God’s image’ means that we hunger to be informed of truth and wisdom that gives life. It means that we read life changing materials, listen and learn to become a leader in our own right, in ways that we do not lead today. Lead in our homes. Lead in our neighborhoods. Lead in how we think and speak and act socially and politically. Associate with like minded people and you will grow from the association. You will change even if you don’t think you need to change! And eventually, the world will change around us. Without force or coercion. The media does not serve well by informing me how corrupt the world is or can become. I know that from years of experience and from the stories told many a time by broken people. You have heard the stories too. It may be your own story. There is another story though to be told. It is the story repeated millions of times by people who felt they were half-dead, bankrupt, or had dried up all their personal resource and inner strength. Many of these somehow made contact with Christian community. They were and are fed, loved and cared for and find a new life from new association and meaningful friendship. Their ‘love tank’ is filled. They find hope and opportunity. This is the story of people like you and me who want more out of life than a daily hum drum of repetitious mundanity. It begins with new information which leads to new thinking. Association with like minded people creates a new social environment. The result is that we see the world differently. We relate differently with each other. The world begins to change one person at a time. I love it! That’s why for the moment, I need to turn off the media. It’s time to grow and find true identity where God is the integral center.

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