Less News, Not in Control

My family has made a conscious decision with great effect. Well, I should say Dana and I made a conscious decision; Jackson and Carter remain blissful in childhood. Jackson, today, literally played in the dirt in our yard!

We have decided to consume less news. In fact, we put limits on it. We’ll check the news in the morning and again in the evening. Otherwise, we are ignoring the news, going about our lives in this new normal.

This might sound like a classic post about escapism, but I think it’s not. For Dana and I, and maybe for you too as you read this, consuming news about the virus seems to be not a helpful means of understanding the world around us but an unhealthy grasp at control. The more we can understand, the more we can control. That’s an old, and unhealthy, linkage that’s yet very tempting.

We think if we understand, we can control. We do that in relationships; assuming we can control others if we understand them. We do it with God, thinking that if we understand God’s ways, we can control God by praying the right way. But control, as we so often discover when we’re willing to be honest with ourselves, is elusive.

In limiting our news consumption, we have effectively said no to the unhealthy, but natural, impulse to think we can control by understanding. We have, instead, confessed that we cannot control. For our family’s safety and for our leadership of classroom and church, we need to stay informed, but staying informed can have limits. In fact, establishing limits enables us to live a healthier life.

Our experiment will, then, continue. I invite you to share your experiences and thoughts with me!

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