by Sylvia Gaston
I remember taking a Current
Events class in high school. That one class and its instructor changed my life
forever. I’m sure I took the class to fill an English requirement but it forced
me to read the newspaper, watch the news and expose myself to what was
happening beyond Hanford High School and my small town home life. This was
something that I had never considered important before.
It opened my eyes to a much
larger world and gave me a framework for processing my thoughts and beliefs and
probably, in part, helped create the controvert I’ve become. I’m assuming this
interest in current events eventually propelled me into city politics later in
At the time, and for years
after, I followed the news and developed my own opinions about the world. I
became fascinated with current events, politics, sports, opinions,
entertainment and human interest stories.
In my 20s and early 30s, it was
easy to take in what was happening in the world and develop my strong opinions about
all that was right and wrong with it.
And then God got my attention.
My decision to follow Him and His ways radically changed the course of my life
and also my view of the world around me.
No longer was I simply
ingesting current events and opining upon them, I became disturbed and
frustrated about what was happening around me, unable to reconcile a good God
with a bad world. I became so disturbed that I withdrew from the pursuit of
current event knowledge because it was killing me inside.
Eventually, I matured (a
little) and realized that, despite our human impact upon our world, it was not
the Eden that God had originally designed and created. He is not responsible
for crime, disease and environmental destruction. It is the result of sin – man’s
personal choices in the things that surround us.
Instead of anguishing over
current events and the plight of man, I realize I can advocate for something
better. I can do my small part to be the type of human God would be proud of. I
can change my small world and maybe even influence the world of those I’m in
contact with. I can pray for God to intervene in situations that desperately
need His loving touch – or harsh judgment. Mostly, I can have and share hope –
to believe, desire and trust for something better.
I am confident of my future in
Heaven. I am confident that whatever I am challenged with on Earth will be
shared with our powerful and capable God. In the meantime, my role is not to
bury my head in the sand but to participate and advocate.
I know that my prayers have power. I know I
can impact certain situations. I know that I can model what it looks like to
disagree with others on issues in a respectful and civil way. I know that I
love people and can share hope with them, even in the midst of crises. That’s
what I can do.
Jesus’ follower, Paul
said, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by
prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians
We shouldn’t worry about things
that are out of our control. Instead, as we hear about what is going on in our
community, nation, and the world, we use this information to prepare for now
and for the future. We discuss these things with others, using the opportunity
to share the hope that can only come from faith and confidence in a powerful
Current events are no longer
killing me. I don’t avoid the news or shy away from tough topics. I take it all
in, pray hard and do what I can do. How about you?