We took a two-week vacation for the first time and returned back the middle of last week. It was wonderful to get away. It was a little disconcerting to come back though. While away I only went through some social media notifications, but mostly just so I wouldn’t have a 1000 when I came back. I didn’t read anything political or partisan – I didn’t want to. I was on vacation. I didn’t touch e-mail, even though I knew I would have a ton to go through. I didn’t care though, I was on vacation.
Then we came back. Going through e-mail I discovered that there was lots of chaos in the world. Most of which I didn’t know about and didn’t want to know about. Most of it was more than I cared to know about.
There also seemed to be a good deal of enraged people too. Enraged over various things. But I just couldn’t get enraged.
One thing I learned from this vacation is that when we start from a position of rage and anger, it is us that get burned…and tired…and exhausted…and irrational…and more.
Being enraged and angry all the time doesn’t help. It doesn’t change anything. Actually, it usually makes things worse. That’s not to say we should just throw our hands up and surrender when we see or experience injustice. Far from it. From my experience an enraged response will get a reaction. But it probably won’t be the one you want. Unless you like anger and being enraged.
What I learned from vacation is that I need more silence and contemplation, not more news and data. What will more news and data actually accomplish in my life? Maybe more emotional responses. It certainly won’t stop the chaos. It only contributes to it.
I think that we don’t need more social media in the world. Instead, how about more social contact – real contact – in person. Or better yet – better social media and better social contact.
We need to start acting like what we want the world to be like, not just say “I’ll pray for you.” Or wait for someone else to start.
If we are Christians we are each called to follow Jesus into this world and start living in a Christ-like manner. We can start right now. But only if we so choose. Only if we decide to put the anger and rage aside.
Need a reminder of what this might look like – maybe start with the Beatitudes or the Sermon on the Mount. Or Jesus’ admonition to visit the visit the sick and imprisoned, to feed the hungry, etc. No where in the bible does it say to wait for someone else to do it, or for government to do it, or work to get certain politicians elected so they can do it, or call some non-profit so they can do it (all the while we complain at non-profit employees get paid because 100% of the donation isn’t going to “the cause.” Never mind that without these dedicated people there would be no cause – they are doing the work of the cause, so stop complaining. They don’t make enough.)
You want society to change, start living differently and actually impacting lives. And take some time for silence. We need silence in our lives.