We are twelve days into the New Year and I wonder whether I should go on a media fast. It seems every time I tune into the news, there is fresh outrage at something our politicians have said or done. Other victims of sexual harassment have come forward in Hollywood; another natural disaster has occurred, and the “peace and good will” that was celebrated just a few weeks ago has all but been forgotten. What happened?
My twitter feed is filled with people venting about anything and anybody. No one is safe from the online bullying. I cringe when I read some of the comments and opinions leveled at politicians in the U.S., Canada and around the world. Fear mongering is rampant. I’m shocked at the profanity and derogatory slurs that are commonly spewed on social media. What is wrong with people?
You will have noticed that I have been silent the last few weeks (at least from a writing viewpoint). It seems that the January doldrums or “blues” have hit me especially hard this year. I have several friends who have lost loved ones over the past few weeks, and several more that are facing serious health crises. I have bought three condolence cards this past week alone. That is depressing. My Connection group leader asked us in church last Sunday, “Does it seem like there are a lot more prayer requests and concerns than usual to start 2018?”
Yep…and there is more to come.
It would seem I am not alone in this New Year’s malaise. It’s easy to say, “do not be anxious…” (Philippians 4:6-7) but the reality is: people ARE ANXIOUS!
I was reminded today, as I have been reminded at the start of every New Year, that casting my cares once more upon the strong shoulders of my Saviour is a choice. It’s not easy to let go of my anxiety. At times I wear it like a security blanket. I become more comfortable in my stress than letting go of it. Weird but true.
I want to let go of my anxiety. It’s a daily struggle. I truly want that “peace that transcends understanding”. There is no easy method for letting go of anxiety, but there’s a proven, tried-and-true equation to follow: I am presenting my petitions to God through prayer yet again. Ceaseless, daily prayer going before the Father for wisdom and guidance. I know He is able. I know He is “my help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). I may not be a math genius, but that at least is a good formula to work on every single day.