As I mentioned in a previous post, our backyard is torn up, resulting in a port-a-potty sitting in the front yard. The recent rains have turned the dirt of the backyard into mud-filled craters. I briefly considered giving myself a mud bath, an expensive procedure at upscale spas. (I have only read about such things, never having visited a spa.)
As I pictured rolling around in the mud, I realized that much of what our culture deems important could be compared to mud. The media is filled with news of infidelities, cruelties, both large and small, and gossip. Yet we remain glued to our television sets, our computers, and other venues to find out the latest in the love-child sitiuation of an ex-governor, the murder of a child by his mother, the beheading of people in foreign lands.
I am not immune to this. How can I resist such riveting subjects? I excuse myself by saying that I want to be up-to-date. The truth is, knowing the details of these topics will not make me a better person. In fact, they drag my thoughts downward into a spiral of depression.
Why does the media not turn its considerable power to the uplifting? And why do I give my attention to these negative things? In our church is a family dealing with leukemia. Members have rallied around the family, doing whatever we can to help. Why is this not news? Also in our church are parents with seven young children who homeschool them and involve them in charitable acts, teaching them what is truly important. Why is this not news? I could go on with dozens of other examples of people who act intelligently, courageously, compassionately.
Rather than reading of the latest scandal, would not my day be better started by reading of such individuals? Would not my heart be more likely turned to eternal things rather than those of the world if I engaged my mind in stories of people who inspire me to do better in my own life?
So, for today, I am grateful for people who inspire.