I like to catch a bit of the news in the morning so that I know what’s going on with the world. This clip from an interview with Clay Johnson, “Is It Time For You To Go On An ‘Information Diet’?” made me think.
On many levels it feels like we mindlessly consume and regurgitate information, other people’s ideas, and trends without properly digesting or questioning them. Johnson hits it on the head when he writes:
“Our minds are really wired to be affirmed and be told that we’re right. … Who wants to hear the truth when they can hear that they’re right? Who wants to be informed when they can be affirmed?”
At the risk of agreeing with Johnson before hearing all sides of the argument, I think he’s right! It’s this pursuit of “truth” or Truth that shifts us from an egocentric view of life to a place of compassion and understanding.
In my study of the Bible this week, I’ve been reviewing the story of the woman caught committing adultery. John 8:1-11
Jesus exercises what Johnson calls “conscious consumption” when he didn’t join the crowd’s accusations against the woman. I find Jesus’ kindness bold. He looks beyond the popular verdict of “guilty.” He reverses the hostile crowd when he says, “…the one who has never sinned [can] throw the first stone!” (New Living Translation) How naturally this self-examination disperses the hate.
Think how we can disperse the crowd or popular mindless trends of materialism, hate, hopelessness, depression, and sickness by trusting in God- good.
In the end, Jesus wasn’t condoning the woman’s behavior. Rather, he creates a safe space to point out her mistake and realign her actions with who she really is- divinely righteous and whole.
About a year ago I had an experience to be “informed” by a higher source when I was looking for housing. I live in a university town and it’s hard to find housing, much less during mid-semester. When I returned in November from a two-month trip in Asia I was anxious to find a place to live. I had lived in my own apartment previously and I wasn’t into the party scene so finding a place on short notice seemed impossible.
The higher source that I went to daily as I prayed about this “home” situation was God. God-Spirit isn’t limited or discouraged. I like one of the lines from a hymn in the Christian Science Hymnal- “Home and heav’n cannot be denied thee…”Hymn 444:3 I knew that even if I couldn’t yet see what this manifestation of home would look like, I could see that it was spiritual and already present.
It wasn’t a shock that I found an amazing house and a lovely set of housemates/friends whose values and interests matched mine. I lived with them for about a year. Though I’ve packed up for my next adventure to France, I still keep in touch with my “roomies” and recognize that contrary to popular belief I was exactly in the place where I needed to be and where I was needed too.
I’m sure that we’re all surrendering an “I’m right” attitude in various degrees each day. I’m glad for this reminder and the need to go to a higher source- to challenge what I’ve accepted about truth for myself and the world.