I have recently taken something of a fast from the media frenzy. Now, that’s not nearly as drastic as it sounds. I’ve just noticed that, in my consumption of media (both 1.o and 2.o), I tend to feel like the little stick guy to the right. Honestly, I was just stressed and overwhelmed, so I decided on one simple policy: I would avoid blogs that ticked me off, would turn off the radio when I felt a story was getting me down, and would generally stay away from my usually frantic pace of media consumption.
So I spent some time away, and now that my life has calmed down, I’ve allowed myself to ease back into some of the things I’ve been avoiding. As I’ve done so, I’ve been struck by something that I’ve always known but never really confronted head on.
People are freaking out. About everything.
Politically, people are freaking out about the economy, about other governments (Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, North Korea, China, Venezuela, Russia), about their own government (the Supreme Court, the other political party, their own political party, the President being too or not enough liberal), about diseases, potential conflicts, natural disasters, the environment, science, the constitution, education, and health care.
Culturally, people are freaking out about sexuality (either for or against a dozen different varieties), the young, the elderly, cultural changes, violence, business, and the media itself.
And the Christian world is no better. Everyone there seems to be freaking out too; about books being published, people of different theological backgrounds, people of the same background who aren’t similar enough, trends in church culture, trends in church polity, trends in how Christians relate to the church, trends in how non-Christians view the church, our declining cultural influence, our attempts to increase cultural influence, pastors, families, and the list goes on.
Those lists, I’m beginning to realize, have deeply warped my own heart. It’s easy for us to see demagoguery and fear-mongering in the other guy, but none of us have really escaped it. As I’ve dove back into the blogs and news sites, regardless of which ones they are, I feel my blood pressure rising and anxiety setting back in. Continue reading