It’s part of most political writers’ jobs to check the news every morning — and not just the sources you like. I generally start with CNN because this way I get my blood pressure up and save on coffee.
At present, here are some of the headlines I’m staring at: “What Ivanka Trump Does: A spotlight is on the Presidential daughter’s unusual role at the White House after news he pressured top aides for her security clearances.” “Analysis: Trump is laying the groundwork to de-legitimize the 2020 election.” “WaPo: Trump’s sons employed undocumented immigrant at private retreat.”
Every one of these articles is as overheated as you might expect, but they’re important to be cognizant of, if just because knowing what bee has stuck itself in CNN’s bonnet this fine day is part of my work.
For just about everyone who’s interested in politics, whether as part of a job or because they consider it part of their duties as a citizen, the news dire, yet strangely addictive. I often feel the bleakness seeping through the screen at each shouting match, each segment where you can see the strings of manipulation being pulled, each time there’s an outright lie made to push a narrative.
If you feel this way too, Charlie Daniels has a little prayer that might just put things in perspective for you.
In a morning prayer he tweeted Wednesday, he reminded believers that the world isn’t in the hands of the talking heads or the punditocracy.
Lord, while the media screams trouble and danger, let us rest easy in the knowledge that our eternal future is not in the hands of the world, but in Your hand where it cannot be snatched away by even the strongest power the world has to offer.
— Charlie Daniels (@CharlieDaniels) March 6, 2019
“Lord, while the media screams trouble and danger, let us rest easy in the knowledge that our eternal future is not in the hands of the world, but in Your hand where it cannot be snatched away by even the strongest power the world has to offer,” he tweeted.
Hands up if you’ve been guilty as sin of this. I know I have. I spend days at my keyboard raving away at the latest media perfidy, convinced that so much hinges on this one outrage.
While I’d like to think that this makes me useful as a commentator — and I do hope I’m useful to you guys — I have to remind myself that neither CNN nor The New York Times is the author of the world. (Nor, indeed, am I, nor is anyone I work with.)
That’s not saying that media bias isn’t an important issue or that fighting it isn’t important, both for the sake of journalism and our country. That’s not to say staying informed isn’t a necessary part of being a citizen. That isn’t to say that when so-called objective media seeks to divide us, we don’t need to call it out.
What it is to say is simple: As much earthly control as we may think we exert, the prime mover is the Lord Almighty. And while chaos may reign on earth, our “eternal future is not in the hands of the world,” as Charlie Daniels pointed out.
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand,” Proverbs 19:21 states. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps,” reads Proverbs 16:9.
Perhaps the most heartening verse in this department is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Most Judeo-Christian believers are not of a deistic bent, yet many of us worry about the slightest vicissitudes of sociopolitical life as if they’ll somehow topple God’s plans. We don’t see that they’re part of the plan and that our final destination isn’t on this third rock from the sun. What we do about our politics with our free will is our decision. Fighting this culture war is our job, even if the results aren’t in our hands.
If you’re not a believer or the media doesn’t get you all in a tizzy, well, feel free ignore this message. However, for the rest of us, this is a reminder that we can be concerned and we can be angry at what we see in the media. I’m certainly going to continue doing so and, God willing, chronicling those concerns and outrages in the pages of this publication.
But that concern will be tempered with the knowledge that we’re all working within His plan, working toward an eternal future where these issues will have no hold over us.
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