I feel like I have a giant suction cup on my head, so it faces forward to a box with a screen on it. I also have a small screen in my hands. I think I have toothpicks in my eyes to keep them open. The screens tell me what I should be thinking. Wait, I see millions of people are in the same predicament. We are all being told what our focus should be. What to think about. Harvey Weinstein, Jeffery Epstein, Trump, fires, impeachment, coronavirus, racism, and the list goes on. It’s like the media tells the social media that tell the people what they will be writing about, which is what they are focused on, which is what they are talking about. Draw a line in the sand, voice your opinion, shout down other opinions and never go back to the days where people would announce on Facebook what they had for dinner or what movie they just saw. Today, the media is the giant suction cup, forcing our heads to watch. Wait, (record scratch sound), there is an off button! Yet, even when you hit it, everyone around is talking about the latest news cycle hype, whether it is deserved or not, and it is hard not to enter into the fray with an opinion. I wonder why we are so anxious in this country? Why are we so stressed out? Even before the threat of some named superbug-virus that threatened to kill 10% of the world, we were like this.
I was praying on the way to church the other day and asking God what my problem was. I am more anxious and, if I am honest, thinking about things nonstop that are perpetuating uneasy feelings within me. His simple and loving answer. You are not focused on my Kingdom. Somehow I get led away to think that I need to keep up on what is happening in the culture around me, which gets me caught up in the culture around me one way or another, which keeps me thinking about the culture around me. You and I can’t think about two things. Try reading an article while your wife is having a deep conversation with you and see how that works. You cannot give your attention, your thinking facility, your energy to all the stuff going on around you, and at the same time, seek and give your mind to the things of heaven.
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1–3 (NIV84)
The phrase set your hearts means to seek constantly. Literally, it is translated up seek where Christ is seated. It is in the present tense, which means it is happening now and will continue to happen. Constantly seek upwards where Christ is seated. In verse two, it says to “up think.” Give careful consideration to something. Let it roll around in your mind. Give some time to something about heavenly things and NOT earthly things. What will this produce? Peace. Joy. Perspective. Love. What it doesn’t bring is anxiety. The vitriol that admittedly I enter into, maybe not on social media, but in my soul, is not helpful for me, my family, my friends, my church, my community, and it is certainly not helpful to the advancement of the Kingdom of God. This doesn’t mean I can’t be aware of or address certain issues. You may read my thoughts on a particular subject or happening in our culture in the future. Our heads need not be in the clouds. But clearly, here, our beings have must have a focus of heavenly things. This is not some Christian law of behavior. This is life. This gets us to the destination that we want. This aligns us with Almighty God and His purposes. This is life. Not just for us, but for the culture in which we live.