We are positioned to devour mass quantities of rapid-fire, changing data more than ever in history.—We must be vigilant about believing what is currently forcing its way into our consciousness (1 Peter 5:8). When we are consuming vast quantities of data, with little to no time to process it and then on to the next crisis and then on to the next ad infinitum, we are highly susceptible to being told how to think and what to get upset about (Rom 12:2). Biologically, this is keeping our systems in high alert, fight or flight, devouring our serotonin. We are not designed to be constantly in high alert or in "trauma brain.” We need these systems to spur us to action, accomplish the task, then recede and prepare for the next event, gather our reserves to fuel up, and then respond. Without ever having the moments to re-fuel, this can be exhausting. Have you wondered why you might need extra naps during the past few months? This flood of chemicals can also lead to depression.
We need to give ourselves the opportunity to filter through God's lens—His plan, His design, His intent.
We need to level our systems, to return to the wise and decisive individuals we are designed to be, operating from a place of choice rather than from emotion and trauma. In order to do so, we all need to clear the decks and reset, and only then can we make wise decisions. We need to give ourselves the opportunity to filter through God's lens—His plan, His design, His intent. God designed us with the ability to reason. This cannot be done effectively without clearing mental space, creating silence, and listening for that still, small voice. Constant news, static, and noise can crowd out the ability to think with clarity and logic. We are not designed to solely consume manufactured data and then to follow a prescriptive narrative, based on the emotion this induces. However, we seem to be headed in this direction. Just keep the noise on high. Keep the systems on high alert. Keep people off-balance and constantly activated. This will keep people perpetually divided, perpetually blaming, perpetually justifying.
Pastor Miles recently talked about the intent of Satan to steal, kill, and destroy. He also discusses the “third option,” a position of intersecting similarities, instead of investing in polarities. It’s time to check in with God and our heart alignment, when we start heading toward a mindset that divides, confuses, or justifies . . . murder.
In psychology "either-or" thinking is highly discouraged, also known as "black and white" thinking or "all or nothing." However, the intersection of the two, like a Venn diagram, is optimal. It sets up more of a solution than a forced choice of this person or that person or this good political party and that bad political party. Society directs us that we can only choose one. Jesus was a master at sidestepping the traps the church leaders tried laying for him. He was clever, an independent thinker, and non-reactive. He strategically made choices—who to answer, how to answer, when to answer—operating from his own authority and accountability. "No one can take my life from me. I sacrifice it voluntarily. For I have the authority to lay it down when I want to and also to take it up again. For this is what my Father has commanded” (John 10:18).
What is causing your responses, emotions, and thought processes? If an outside entity is calling your shots, this can point you fueled and fired up into a frenzy. Don't be pointed. Observe. Converse. Research. And calm the internal storm, using Jesus as your role model – a man who operated out of a position of choice.
When we quote Bible verses like "love your neighbor," what does that actually mean when you walk out the door? What does love your neighbor look like in a protest? In a town hall meeting looking for systemic change? When others don’t believe the same way you do about a topic?
When we quote Bible verses like "love your neighbor," what does that actually mean when you walk out the door?
Love is a verb. How do you express yours? Look through the lens of the spiritual gifts God has given you, along with your innate talents and passions, and apply them in the unique way God designed you. When a 7,000 member protest rolled through my neighborhood, for me, it meant joining and discussing, listening, hugging, and connecting. My current favorite thing is attempting to connect with every individual with whom I come in contact throughout the day. I love talking to new people, seeing how they are holding up, and getting them to laugh. This includes the postal truck worker, the 7/11 employee, the homeless individual, the server at my favorite sushi restaurant, etc.
With crises coming from every direction, people need to experience the love of God in the midst of their painful circumstances. Let’s rest from the chaotic narrative, cling to the heart and truth of God