I admit defeat. I can’t take all the negativity in the news anymore. Besides, I don’t know who most of these people in the news are. I figure it’s even odds they are (a) celebrities, (b) politicians, or (c) athletes (is there a difference?). All of them have expiration dates in their respective fields, which means they are temporary. The older I get, the more nonsensical the word news seems to be; I’ve seen all this before. It just seems repetitive and boring.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you. Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” Proverbs 4:23-27 ESV
The news is not doing anything good for my heart. It can stain my perspective, if I let it.
Frequent readers of this blog will know that I showed up for my spiritual journey late in life. I used to live a very non-spiritual life in a much distorted reality. In this, I was what you might call an over-achiever. I can attest from first-hand experience: every avenue I travelled ended up in a cul-de-sac. Dead ends everywhere. The book of Ecclesiastes could be my personal journal.
On the other hand, a relationship journey with God is where we find real life, real truth, real contentment, real peace. Real reality, not the distorted kind. It doesn’t steal life from the heart, it nourishes it. As it says,
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:3
After I came to know Jesus I noticed a decline in my interest in the temporary things (except ice cream). A desire for more permanence began to grow, like a tree. (I like to think it’s an oak tree, since those begin as acorns; and an acorn is just another kind of nut… like me). I came to see that real permanence = eternal.
As anyone who owns a rake knows, trees produce an abundance of leaves. And sometimes flowers, or fruit (or nuts). Which we can see. But what sustains the trees is the unseen roots underground. Without roots, no trees. God uses the example of trees to impart wisdom to us, and points out the necessity of growing deep roots so we are sustained through adversity.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
My daughter drew this picture for me some years ago. I treasure each piece of her art but this one is especially dear. In this piece she had captured the significance of being deeply rooted.
I don’t have much hope for the future of news reporting. I certainly won’t find any place to grow roots there. But that’s OK because the best news doesn’t come from man; it comes from God.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
And that is the best place to be rooted. One thing is certain: you can only grow where you’re planted.