News of another massacre fills the airwaves. Stories of the horrid depravity of the killer. Stories of heroism in the face of terror. Stories of families who lost loved ones. Listening, we become filled with emotion. Anger, sadness, vengefulness, fear, terror, shock, numbness, empathy, pride, rage, passion begin to war within ourselves. We try to make sense of the senseless. We try to understand something that can never be explained.
Tragedies garner action. Some will get involved in politics to enact change in gun laws, either for or against. Others will call for mental health reform. Many will write to the families and stand behind them in their time of need. We each want to change the world for the better to make sure something like the Newtown, CT tragedy never occurs again.
I’ve been asking myself, “What will I do in the face of this horrible situation?” I may not be able to change the world but I can change me. So this is what I plan to do in my own little corner of the universe:
I will pray – Prayer has been my mainstay for many years. God has always proven faithful to me even in my darkest days. I will pray for Him to provide strength and comfort for the families. I will pray for wisdom for the leaders of our country as they talk about changes needing to be made to ensure safety. And I will pray for peace among people as we work through our emotions in very different and sometimes conflicting ways.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” ~ Romans 15:13
I will live my priorities – I will look at my calendar and decide if I’m living my priorities of God first, husband second, my children third, and then my friends and ministry. If I see any contradictions, I will take action to say “no” where needed and free up time to devote to what is important.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” ~ Luke 12:34
I will not live in fear – The definition of terrorism is, “the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.” If I fear, I let the enemy win. God’s most repeated command in the bible is, “do not fear.” Each act of terror brings the temptation to say no to my children when they want to go to the mall, hang out with friends in a public venue, or even to go on a ministry trip. However, God created them for a purpose and I can’t steal away the experiences, growth, blessings, and value God has planned for them. I must trust that God is with them wherever they go and in every circumstance.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
I will listen with an open mind – Many debates rage as you read this blog. Gun laws, mental health reform, school safety initiatives, etc. Although I have opinions, I’m not an expert in any of these matters and don’t have all the answers. So I will listen with an open mind and respond respectfully. This does not mean I have to agree with the position presented. I’m simply giving each person the respect they deserve as a living human being with emotions. We may disagree but there can be a mutual respect.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” ~ Philippians 2:3-4
I will trust God – God hates evil even more than we do. He promises to fight for us. He promises to right all wrongs.
“Here are six things God hates, and one more that he loathes with a passion: eyes that are arrogant, a tongue that lies, hands that murder the innocent, a heart that hatches evil plots, feet that race down a wicked track, a mouth that lies under oath, a troublemaker in the family.” ~ Proverbs 6:16-19
These changes may not spark a movement and may not even inspire one person, but they will reap a benefit in my own household and hopefully with those I interact with daily. I may not be able to change the world but I can change me.
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©2012 Connie Davis Johnson