Tag Archives: Radio

Confession of an Ex-News Junkie

from Mickeleh via Flickr
from Mickeleh via Flickr

Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return.
    Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.
Proverbs 9:7 (NLT)

I used to be a news junkie. I grew up in a time when the television had four channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, & PBS) and my hometown of Des Moines had two daily newspapers. One newspaper came in the morning (The Des Moines Register) and the other newspaper was delivered in the afternoon (The Des Moines Tribune).  News was delivered on a specific schedule each day and you had to wait to find out what was happening in the world. Even as a kid I was anxious for the newspaper to come and the nightly news to begin.

With the advent of cable and satellite television, my natural cravings and curiosity could feed its appetite 24/7/365. The news was always on. When there wasn’t any actual news worth talking about then talking heads emerged on both the radio and television to perpetuate and regurgitate old conversations and keep viewers or listeners sucked in. At first, I gorged myself. Talk radio was always on in my car while news channels were always on my television at home.

At some point I began actually listening to the discourse of the conversation, or lack of conversation, that I was hearing. Intelligent opinion gave way to ideological rants. Objective analysis morphed into slanted perspective. Brash personalities with big mouths and bigger egos began a relentless mocking of anyone who didn’t agree with them. Depending on your interest or persuasion you can find the mockers on the left, on the right, and in the sports arena. They act just like the mockers in Solomon’s proverb who insult and injure anyone who dare stand up to have a civil conversation about an opposing view. One cannot surf through the news and sports channels without hearing a steady stream of people yelling, interrupting, and insulting one another.

When I first began imbibing a steady stream of non-stop news I reacted with equal brashness to what I was hearing. I raised my voice. I shot back. I quipped and cajoled. I traded barbs and insults. I screamed at the television to those who disagreed with me and cheered on the mockers from my team. Eventually I found myself strung out and numb. The mockers in the media entrenched themselves firmly in their own positions and raked in the fortune and fame. I began to realize that I was the one getting hurt by all of this. My own mocking alienated others and isolated me from people I was called to actively love. I didn’t like what I had become from my non-stop binge of news channels and talk shows.

That was when I remembered that both my television and my radio had buttons which changed the channel. There was even a button to turn them completely off! I quietly put myself through private rehab for my news junkie addiction. I walked away from mockers of all persuasions cold turkey. Now I’m on a healthy news diet that is mocker free. I choose my news intake wisely and digest healthy portions from a select menu. My spirit, my heart, my mind, my relationships and my life are in better places because of it.

Let the mockers mock. They will always be on. I simply choose not to subject myself to them, nor follow their example.

Chapter-a-Day Ezra 6

Norelco 3 band transistor radio
Image by holdit via Flickr

With great joy they celebrated the Feast of Unraised Bread for seven days. God had plunged them into a sea of joy; he had changed the mind of the king of Assyria to back them in rebuilding The Temple of God, the God of IsraelEzra 6:22 (MSG)

When I was a kid, my dad always had the radio on. It was as a kid that I learned to appreciate an old radio news man and commentator named Paul Harvey. In the morning and at noon, Harvey would offer his own special take on the day’s news. In the afternoon, however, that distinctive voice pouring out of the radio would share a unique biographical story with a twist at the end that revealed the mysterious person he was talking about. Harvey called it The Rest of the Story, and I always listened intently to see if I could figure out the identity of the mysterious figure he was talking about.

I thought about The Rest of the Story as I read today’s chapter. At the beginning of 2011, we were journeying through the book of Jeremiah’s prophesies and the “weeping” prophet was warning the people of Jerusalem that they’d better straighten up or God was going to send the King of Babylon to take them into exile. In Jeremiah 18 I pulled out this verse for our chapter-a-day:

So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot. Jeremiah 18:3-4 (MSG)

Almost a year has passed. And now, at the end of 2011, we read “the rest of the story.” The people refused to listen to Jeremiah so God, the Potter, crushed the marred pot he’d been working on. The Babylonians swept into Jerusalem and flattened the city, along with Solomon’s temple, like a lump of clay on the potter’s wheel. The people of Israel were taken into exile where they languished for many years.

Then, miraculously, a new king emerges who sends a remnent of Israelites back to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding the city and the temple. The Potter is back at work, redeeming the lump of clay which had been broken, and making it into something new for His purpose. The people are plunged into a sea of joy as they begin again their worship in the new temple in Jerusalem.

As I look back over the years, I see how God is writing “The Rest of the Story” in my own life. Broken and marred, I have (on multiple occasions, actually) felt life falling in like the walls of that clay pot on the Potter’s wheel. Though it felt like some kind of tragic end in the moment, God was no more finished with me than He was finished with the Israelites stuck in exile. God is a God of redemption. God is a God of hope.

He’s not finished with me yet.

Enhanced by Zemanta