Turning on the News | Over the weekend, while waiting for Hurricane Irene, most of us were glued to the news, trying to get as much information as possible to allay our fears. Yet, how reliable were our sources – television, internet, radio? As Adam Gopnik suggests, not very. After all, he argues, the real purpose of the news is “not to get you to do anything, but to get you so scared that all you can do is keep the television, or radio, on” .
Turning to the Lord | Going to God for guidance is not like watching the news in – at least – three important ways. First, God doesn’t merely watch and guess what’s coming; He decides what’s coming. As David sang, “The LORD reigns forever … proclaim among the nations what he has done” . Second, He’s not trying to get our attention through fear so that His ratings will go up; He wants us to run to Him fearlessly because He knows that what we’re really looking for isn’t information – but true safety and happiness – and He knows that we’ll only find those things in Him. As David prayed, “You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound”  and, “[L]et all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy … For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield” . Finally, God doesn’t just tell or show us what’s coming; He talks with us about it. He hears our fears and responds to them. As David also prayed, “Know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD will hear when I call to him”  and, “Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” .
Prayer | Lord, We confess that, although You’re an ever present help in trouble, we often search other sources for hope. Yet, their information only makes us more anxious because it’s inadequate. Only You can give us true peace, comfort, confidence and safety. So, lift our eyes to the cross as we see Jesus securing our certain future and relationship with You. Amen.
 Adam Gopnik, “Hurricane Irene: Storm Warnings.” The New Yorker. 28 August 2011. After taking a month-long sabbatical in Cape Cod in a house without internet or television, Gopnik was reminded of two obvious things about the news: (1) “that the media, television particularly, are amplifying devices in which tiny kernels of information become vast, terrifying structures of speculation,” and (2) “that the reasons for this are essentially non-ideological; frightened people need news for reassurance, and want to get a more heightened experience by being frightened still more, and the business the people supplying the fright are in … is not really that of dispensing information but of assembling enough listeners or readers, preferably still caught in the same spirit of credulous attentiveness, to offer to advertisers to keep subscribing.” |  Ps. 9:7, 11 NIV 1984 |  Ps. 4:7 NIV 1984 |  Ps. 5:11-12 NIV 1984 |  Ps. 4:3 NIV 1984 |  Ps. 5:1-3 NIV 1984