I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise. 2 I live and breathe God; if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy: 3 Join me in spreading the news; together let’s get the word out. 4 God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears. 5 Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him. 6 When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot. 7 God’s angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray. 8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see – how good God is.
Psalm 34:1-8 The Message
OK Everybody – breathe.
The events of this past week have left many of us breathless. The staggering and disturbing news, the racist rhetoric, the angry litany, the talk of war, the lament of natural and unnatural destruction – it is exhausting – and it comes SO fast.
Every news cycle is “out-newsed” by the next.
In this Twitter-fed world, this world of news bites, exit polls, snap chats, and Facebook pages (insert your favorite and most used social media tool here) the buzz is constant and unrelenting.
Not only that, I believe it is dangerous.
A lot of people are very, very angry. They are outraged. No wonder, there are a lot of outrageous things going on, and we hear about them every thirty seconds or so. Complicated issues are being boiled down to a simple, too simple, explanation. Frustration is at an all time high.
Just this past week I was loading some groceries into the car when there was a blaring of a horn. Two drivers were suddenly within feet of me, screaming obscenities at each other, over each one’s “clear” offense. In the blink of an eye, I found myself pondering whether or not I might need to take cover lest one, or both, of the drivers pull out a firearm or a knife or an axe and finish the argument once and for all. I actually pondered an escape route for my wife’s elderly uncle and me should we need to suddenly take it. Then, as quickly as it began, it was over and it was back to business as usual. Still, it was unnerving.
So, I think we all need to take a deep breath. We need to take to heart the advice of the Scripture passage at the head of this page. Life – the world – people – are complicated. It can’t all be boiled down to a simple “I am always right and you are always wrong” equation.
Yes, some things are simple. Racism, hatred, white supremacy, people in cars mowing other people down – that’s all wrong – that’s always wrong. Do we even need to argue that?
Still, how we got to this point isn’t simple and if we want to find solutions I would suggest we begin by stopping and taking a big, much needed, breath.
Breathe, pray, let the Spirit of God move, take a moment before you act – if you act.
Sometimes the problem is we are apathetic and refuse to act against evil. I understand.
Sometimes, though, we best pause and breathe first.
Breathe, before the world explodes and it is too late to breathe, ever again.