Thursday, August 5, 2010

I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.

Today’s newspaper contained mostly bad news. But, then, that is the way of newspapers. There are so many depressing developments, one can’t help but notice the dramatic deepening of darkness across the world. Many people purposely avoid reading the news (or watching it on TV) because it is disturbing. I sympathize with their desire to look the other way. However, there is that admonition to “watch”:

“What I say unto one I say unto all: Watch, for the adversary spreadeth his dominions, and darkness reigneth.” (DC 82:5)

Keeping one eye on your adversary at all times seems to be a wise strategy so as to guard against any surprise attacks. And, of course, with the other eye, we are supposed to be focusing on light and truth in order to stay strong and fit for an inevitable battle. At least, that is the way I have interpreted the admonition to “watch” for most of my life.

But I think I’ve been wrong. Keeping a constant eye on darkness can result in a debilitating despair that declares that all is lost and defeat is inevitable. The Adversary, of course, wants us to think he is winning; that the ultimate victory is already in his hand. Unfortunately, our news media aid him in that illusion.

After reading some of the current depressing news this morning, I then read some of the good news in the Mormon Times section of the paper. I felt ever so much better—even optimistic! Even happy! I read of people who are doing good things, exercising faith, combating evil in inspired ways, making the world a better place. I read the insightful views of others who are using the challenges and adversities of this world to become better people, to do a good work. I was uplifted and strengthened. So I had a new thought: if we focus on light and truth with both eyes, we will still be prepared for the surprise attacks. Perhaps even much better prepared because we will feel hope and courage to continue in faith, to be valiant.

[Do you need a boost in your optimism and enthusiasm? Click on the image of Christ in the right column to go to Mormon Among many great articles, I recommend Wayne Brickey’s article, “Iron hath entered his soul.”]



Rebecca said...

over the past 18 months, there have been some very bad things happening at work - many of my co-workers continue to read the comments posted on Job Vent - mostly negative.

there have been a lot of bad things going on in the news and I am usually oblivious...

I don't like the negativity and I have avoided it as much as possible. I spend much time reading the scriptures; praying; serving at church and spending time with my family. Those things keep me happy and at peace regardless of all the bad that is going on. I am aware of the bad; I am not swallowed up in it...

Anonymous said...

The other trouble with watching what the world is doing, is that it allows stuff to get in! And after months and years of it, I woke up and stopped. It wasn't until months later that I realized how bad it had gotten. It's amazing what you tolerate when you slowly become accustomed to it.

Chris said...

I couldn't agree more. Every time I read the news (like at work), I would feel depressed inside, so I stopped reading it. Now, I listen to conference music/talks. Although, now I am doing a bit more reading on running too, and figuring stuff out, but that is safe and I actually feel good reading it.