It strikes me that pastors who might have cautioned people about their levels of screen time and exposure to social media have instantly turned to those forms of media in this crisis, further deepening their hold on people’s time and thought patterns.
We live as the best informed generation to ever endure a global health crisis.
There is a difference between availing ourselves of news in order to inform a wise course of action, and availing ourselves of news in a way that shapes and feeds negative patterns of thought and attitudes.
Daniel Darling describes the issue in personal terms.
Several times in the last few weeks, my wife has told me, “You need to put that phone down. You are embedding unhealthy fear in your heart.” And she’s right. The truth is, while we are basically quarantined in our home, having our basic needs met and meaningful work to do, there is nothing we will miss by spending a few hours (or more) away from the news cycle. Vigilance doesn’t require hearing every press conference and reading up on every new development.
We are formed by our rhythms. And unconsciously we may be catechizing our souls toward despair, with the constant scrolling and droning of the news. This is not good for us in any moment, but especially in moments of crisis. Our minds and hearts and souls need to breathe—we were not made for constant negative input. So if you are like me, you need to release yourself from the burden of having to always be in the know and instead actively choose to rest in the all-knowingness of God.
Darling shares his personal response in a few different forms. Here’s one.
I can’t control coronavirus — I can’t control where it spreads or who gets it or what policies are being put in place. I’m not a doctor or scientist. I don’t even know what I don’t know. What I can control, however, is what God has put before me: following guidelines for social distancing, shepherding my family in faith, and doing the work I’ve been called to. Similarly, I can’t control the economic situation, but I can make wise choices, and I can give toward those in need.
My default behavior in a crisis is to neglect what’s in front of me in favor of needless worry and fear concerning those things over which I have no jurisdiction. That’s the opposite of faith. To trust God is to release our burdens and walk in obedience to Him. To be still in the places where we are powerless—and faithful where He has given us responsibility.
Read the whole post here.