We live in an age in of bombardment. Our senses are being hit from every direction. Sounds, images, facts, information, and noise are just the beginning. We are inundated, overwhelmed, and pummeled by life. As a result, I find myself struggling to deal with the joy, pain, anguish, uncertainty, and celebration, often concurrently!
In a simpler time, often defined by what I remember of my childhood, I let life guide and direct me. The sense of celebration led to celebrating with words, song, and action. Times of uncertainty led to withdrawal, reflection, and examination. There was a direct link between what life was dishing out and my behaviors that followed.
As I matured, life picked up pace. Given the length of the journey, what was slow then now seems overwhelmingly fast! Knowing when and how to apply filters to what is hitting my senses is difficult. Do I follow this lead or that?
I am beginning to understand that many things I saw/see as leads are in fact red herrings. It is as if the lead is intensely smoky, easy to see and smell. Only with a bit of hindsight do I realize that I am on a track that is leading to nowhere. The situation is bad enough that even I see it as a candidate for the Psalmist criticism; “Ignorant judges! Head-in-the-sand judges! They haven’t a clue to what’s going on. And now everything’s falling apart, the world’s coming unglued.” (Psalm 82.5)
As I wake this morning, I find myself reminding my heart and mind that responding is rarely the optimal choice. I can reach not react. I can reach for my values and priorities. I can reach for the principles I believe in, striving with what follows to make a positive difference.
Life can be painful, chaotic, and challenging. In every situation, in all emotions, there is an opportunity to take a positive step. Anything else is a herring regardless of what name we apply to it. We have the opportunity, freedom, and responsibility to decide what comes next. The choice is ours.