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When the News Cycle is Constant and So Is Your Worry // by Stephanie K. Taylor

By October 25, 2016News

So I am a bit of an anomaly when it comes to the millennial generation. The reason being, I rarely check social media. It’s a running joke with my friends, my roommates and even my family. If you want to reach me, then don’t try social media. I check and/or update social media in spurts. It is not a rare thing for me to go six months at a time silent on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter. (What can I say, it helps me stay peaceful.)

Despite this, I studied journalism in college so staying up-to-date on world events is a big priority for me. While I don’t frequent social media often, I do constantly read the news. I have several news app on my phone and check news sites throughout the day. My head is always face down, reading breaking world, national, sports and entertainment news.

With the upcoming election, most of the news I have been reading lately has been about politics. Let me tell you the truth: It has stressed me out.

A week ago, I thought it would be a good idea to check out some videos on political commentary regarding the leaked video of one of the presidential candidates, right before bed. (Bad idea, I now know.) I kid you not, as I sat in my room watching videos, my stomach started to ache. Hearing the divisive rhetoric, the demeaning commentary about sexual assault victims, the opinions on the use of sex in American culture, literally gave me anxiety, I had a hard time sleeping.

Anxiety. I have been so anxious watching the political debates, reading the news and seeing the commentary online. If I do log onto Facebook, all I seem to find lately is negative news about presidential candidates and supporters on both sides spewing criticism and hate toward the other side.

Not only with the current election, but in 2016 in general. This year has been a rough one, as far as news on a global scale. The Orlando shooting. The Black Lives Matter movement. The Dallas shooting of police officers. The death of Christina Grimmie. The police shootings of Keith Lamont Scott, Philando Castile, Terrence Crutcher and the list goes on. These are just national events. What about the hurricane in Haiti? Or the civil war and the refugees in Syria?

My heart breaks. Each time I hear about an unarmed black man being killed. Each time I hear about a police officer being threatened, attacked or killed. Each time, I hear hate speech directed at Muslims, Mexican Americans or women. Each time, I pick up my phone to check the news, I hurt. My heart hurts.

So what’s a girl to do? How do I take authority over an area that seems so out of my control? I mean, the news is constantly flowing and is out of any one person’s control. Here’s what God has been telling me lately: You can’t worry and worship simultaneously. You either sit with your face in that news or social media app or you sit with your face in my word. You either bow down to the cares and worries of this world or you bow down to me.

I’ll be the first to admit, I am not always good at this. I see the headlines, and instead of innately praying, I scroll to read more. Here’s what I’d like to encourage you and I to both do, worship. Instead of sitting at the feet of the news cycle and letting it dictate your emotions, your fears or your opinions, worship and pray. Don’t be moved by what you see.

Take authority over the news, world events and our social media age by not choosing to focus on it. Instead, choose to turn your attention back to the one who has the sun and moon in his hands. Remember, God is in control. Not an elected official. Not world events. Not wars, crime or natural disasters. God is control.

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” Isaiah 40:26

Read on to verse 28 and it says, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.”

I’d like to leave you with lyrics to a song I sing to myself when I’m overwhelmed with worry or stress about any area of my life. I’ve sung this many a times in my car in tears when worry was trying to control my mind. It’s actually from the Christian children’s movie/ book series, “Commander Kelly and the Superkids.” It was a classic, Christian kid staple in the late 90s. (Don’t judge me.)

Here are the lyrics:
“I’ll trust you Jesus,
With my whole life in your hands.
I’ll trust you Jesus,
On your word, I’m gonna stand.
For every situation that has tried to make me down,
You’ve annointed me,
Given faith to me,
So my Lord, I’ll trust in you.
My Lord, I’ll trust in you.”

Trust. Rest. Be still. Take authority by worshiping. Stop checking the news. Stop worrying. God is in control.


Featured image by Naomi Ann

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