Media Hype, or Too Close to the Trees

So I got in my car the other day.  It was hot inside from the day so I rolled the window down and turned the key in the ignition.  As the car started up the radio kicked on.  I usually listen to the local talk radio station in town but on the weekends the lineup is really weak; mostly sales programs and regional political talk that lacks the quality of local programs or the nationally syndicated ones.  At this moment a regional talk show host was mid-sentence in a rant about Donald Trump and the Miss Universe controversy.  It was day 4 or 5 of the controversy… to be honest, I stopped caring before it was even an issue, and I couldn’t help but ask the Lord this question:  “Why in the world are we as a people still talking about this garbage?”

Now I hope you know by now that I am not a Donald Trump fan, nor am I for Hillary Clinton.  I don’t like the policies of Gary Johnson and don’t waste your time asking me about Jill Stein.  Evan McMullin is pretty good, but whatever… I gave up on this election a long time ago, but seriously?  Are we really still talking about this?

Have we, out of fear of what might come after November, crowded in too close to the trees to see the forest?

It was later that evening when my wife and I realized that we haven’t really heard much about anything in the news lately except for the election.  There was even a school shooting in a town not too far from where we live, and it got very little coverage because Donald Trump said something stupid, or Hillary fell out, or Gary Johnson publically flogged himself for not knowing where Allepo was, or something like that I’m sure.

Okay, perhaps my tone is a little too sarcastic for some; but why not?  As Solomon would say, “Vanity of vanities!  All is vanity… there is nothing new under the sun… everything is meaningless…” (Ecclesiastes 1:2, 9; 12:8)  Too depressing?  I could have quoted Lamentations if that would be better?  But seriously, have any of us actually taken a step back recently?  The media hasn’t, but what about the Church?  Have we, out of fear of what might come after November, crowded in too close to the trees to see the forest?

As Christians we have a responsibility to Jesus, to ourselves, and to the world around us that desperately needs the Lord to be set apart.  Shortly before his arrest and crucifixion Jesus prayed for us, saying:

John 17:13-21 (ESV)

13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

We need to take a step back.  The world is still turning and we’re missing what’s really important when we get consumed by the soap opera we are calling a Presidential election in this country.

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