I stopped watching the news a few months ago. I removed all those handy news apps from my smartphone. I secluded myself from headlines and constant, 24-hour bombardment by updates to every scandal from Hollywood to DC, because, frankly, the news is depressing. I don’t know why, but it seems that conflict, misery, and angst sell. Even the good folks at ESPN have taken to yelling at each other and as much as I love sports, there simply came a moment where I no longer needed to see grown adults berate each other over things as innocuous as someone’s jump shot.
Since clearing all that noise out of my daily life, I have ben more and more convicted that it is time for us to choose to see goodness and beauty in the world. It can be so easy sometimes to only notice the suffering in the world, or to criticize our current cultural climate or our society’s lack of basic morals, especially when the news only shows us the worst of it. It can be so easy to glorify the past, to pine over way back when, and wish we could return to the glory days.
The past is behind us. Yes, we must be informed by our history but the fact is simple: we must live in the here and now or never live at all. And what’s more, we must learn to love the world as it is—suffering, wars, and yelling newscasters included.
Because I have a hunch that just like Queen Esther thousands of years ago, “perhaps it was for a time like this” (Esther 4:14) we were each created.
A time like this, and not any other. That means we can’t glorify the past nor be hypercritical of the present. We live now, for better or for worse.
On the days it seems more worse than better, it is our job to find the beauty and goodness that already exist. It is our job to call it out, make it known, spread it around. If we can’t find any goodness or beauty, then it’s our job to make it. It’s our job to remind the world what goodness, truth, and beauty are all about. It’s up to us to be little beacons of light and hope in a world that’s sometimes drowning in its own darkness.
The truth of the matter is this: we cannot do it from our hidey holes of comfort, whether those are angry news channels that echo our worldview, or newest tech gadgets, or a preference for way back when. We must go out and live in this world, but not be of it. We must go embrace this life, even the ugly parts, so that we can uncover all the goodness and love and beauty we’re fighting for. We have to be willing to see all that’s good in the midst of all that’s bad, and then proclaim it from the rooftops.
That’s where hope lives, after all: in the midst of everything that seems impossible, even in a time such as this.