Our young people are smart. They have a lot of information given to them and know how to search for them very quickly. They have a world of information at their fingertip with the age of information technology. Nevertheless, their retention of information seems to be short, too, because they are being bombarded with a lot of things daily. And, sadly, too much of our information is being filtered and targeted with intelligent algorithms, information phishing, privacy issues, and covert manipulations by large corporations, interest groups, and political movers and shakers. Therefore, the information and what we get fed with each day is biased and not necessarily the fullness of truth.
It is so easy to be quickly persuaded, blind-sighted, motivated, and reactive to what we have received as information. It often makes people more angry and frustrated at what is going on. Think about it, the news never made us feel easy and at peace! On the opposite, it tends to agitate and makes us react with negativities. It begs the question, then, where do we really draw life and real knowledge, true wisdom and understanding?
In the day and age of immediate whatever, let us be honest and ask ourselves whether we really need everything immediately or not. Second, do we need to fill ourselves with so much information and news that tend to be more talks than actual information or truth itself? Why are we spending so much time on the television or news outlets that tend to repeat the same thing that they want to tell us with more people trying to convince us in thinking like them?
It seems like the more time we spend on listening to what the “news” media have to commentate on, the more frustrated, negative, angry, despairing, and hopeless we become because it seems like our city, state, nation, or world is moving from one crisis to the next — and it only seems to get worst every time. Nonetheless, it is the same attitude and style that go on each day, moving from one negative “breaking news” and crisis to the next. I find it funny that these media and news outlets are still in business and earning money from advertisements while other people are suffering from their reports, insinuations, and resulting effects. They could care less about how people are actually living except to gain more airtimes, viewerships, and sponsorships.
Furthermore, have we ever notice who benefit at the end when our society goes into crisis? Have we asked who are sponsoring the news and moving their agendas forward? When will we notice how much manipulations, catering, filtering, and blind-sightedness we have been because we simply allow ourselves to be fed instantaneously and constantly by those who control the information? Perhaps it is best that we step back and not allow ourselves to be filled with the typical matters in order to have enough space in our lives and hearts to breath, rest, and seek higher purposes.
Simply talking from the nutritional standpoint, things that are instantaneous are not healthy and wholesome. A microwavable meal cannot compare to a home cook dish that takes hours to prepare and for the flavors to develop. Secondly, from an academic standpoint, information that has not been tested and proved by research, time, and effort cannot be vouched and taken as credible. Thirdly, what is truly life-giving is deep and comes from the heart, not simply as a reaction or quick judgment. However, we tend to see ourselves and many people around us getting caught up and moved by the immediate agitation, overabundance of sensationalistic and untested information, and emotional or sentimental reaction instead of taking the time to seek further understanding, knowledge, and truth about the subject or presented pieces. We have not taken time to reflect, pray, and discern their scopes and relationships to the everlasting values and matters that are grounded in the Almighty.
We easily get agitated because of daily news and influx of information because we have a lot of things on our plate but not enough time to pray and seek God. We easily get shaken because our roots are not deep and strengthened by His love. We forget of His providence, constant care, and faithfulness when we fix our eyes on immediate, ever-changing, and constant bombardment of stuff. We rather spend our time on useless things to numb our minds or captivate our attention. Nonetheless, these things will make us unhappy, frustrated, resentful, and unfulfilled instead of being restful and unshaken by His promise. The only way for us to be less swayed and moved by the changing opinions and popular persuasions of this world is to be rooted in the Lord. We can only do this when we desire, seek, and love Him and allow ourselves to draw life from the eternal wellspring of truth and love.
The prophets, especially Jeremiah (cf. 2:1-13), reminded us that we cannot forsake God who is the source of living waters. Only in Him can we find our depth and nourishment that is both eternal and transcendental, beyond what is temporarily or falsely offered by this world. Sadly, too many want quick satisfaction, pleasure, or happiness that they are willing to drink from shallow wells and broken cisterns that are made by humanity instead of the Almighty. The shallower and more immediate is our satisfaction, the quicker its effect wears off and leaves us empty, especially all its negative side effects of hopelessness, despair, anger, frustration, and resentment because we are never fulfilled, joyful, content, and at peace with ourselves.
Too many times, we demand that God gives us signs, provisions, nourishments, and miracles as we would like, and we get angry when we do not have things our ways. We want things given to us according to our conditions, terms, and desires instead of receiving what comes from the heart of the One who cares. We get frustrated because we do not see what we can comprehend according to our feeble minds but missed what the Almighty has already done day in and day out without us knowing or recognizing at the moment. We want things served to us immediately, as we like, or according to our expectations and timelines, which causes us to be blind-sighted by the truth. We drag Him down to our level instead of lifting up our hearts to His transcendental love and eternal beauties. Therefore, the faith that demands things our ways keep us stuck where we are at instead of allowing ourselves to truly be nourished by life-giving waters and the transformative love of God.
Therefore, let us ask ourselves. What are we filling ourselves with each day? Do we have enough space and time for God? What information are we receiving and allowing ourselves to intake each day? How deep and substantial is our relationship with God so that the agitations, challenges, ups and downs of life will not easily persuade us? If we are being challenged, are we able to find our consolation, peace, and rest in the Lord or are we looking for something else?