This year for lent I have cut out the purposeful listening to and watching world news and events in any form. This doesn’t mean I am closing my eyes to everything–I see headlines and read the occasional news story (particularly about suffering Christians in other countries)–but I turned off all the chatter, the pundit, the yelling, the noise, and I am taking seriously the local and the present needs of my most immediate neighbors.
The effect is amazing. I am not as stressed. I no longer feel heavy-hearted most days. I am not tired all the time. I am not overwhelmed by the evil of the world. I am losing my cynicism…I genuinely care more!
This chosen path of “ignorance” may seem backward–even immoral–to those of us surrounded by the noise of a 24 hour news cycle convinced of our right to know…everything. But there is a basis for it in scripture.
Isaiah 33 says: “Who among us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?” He who walks righteously and speaks uprightly, who despises the gain of oppressions, who shakes his hands, lest they hold a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of bloodshed and shuts his eyes from looking on evil, he will dwell on the heights; his place of defense will be the fortresses of rocks; his bread will be given him; his water will be sure (vs.14-16).
Throughout the Lenten season I will be posting more about this process and my experience and I suspect addressing questions of ignorance and knowledge, love and knowledge, moral responsibility in light of knowledge & ignorance, love and truth, etc.