A moment ago I had an email from an organization asking if I would sign on to a legislative initiative they were organizing– they needed religious leaders, they said. It was the second request I got today asking for my leadership. We knew, I think, that the opportunities for justice work would abound with the Trump administration– what I don’t think we fully understood, back in January, was j u s t h o w d i z z y i n g the year would be. And now, with the tax bill passed, it will likely get worse for the “least,” the “last,” and the “lost” before it gets better.
As if all of that weren’t enough, we’ve had one disaster after another in 2017 it seems. From earthquake to hurricane to mass shooting to wildfire to terror incident. Our phones burn up with “push notifications.”
All of this is why I finally had to ‘fast’ from the New York Times for the season of Advent. It’s not that I wanted to stick my head in the sand (though that would have been nice!)– it is because there is SO MUCH news these days that I was losing perspective on the people and things that sustain me and give me hope. Advent needed some balance. I knew I couldn’t continue at the break-neck pace and still be helpful to anyone. It’s been a good choice and I’ve learned some things (it’s not just ‘news’ that I lose myself in, it’s my phone, in general) but I don’t plan to continue the fast. I’ve missed the editorials and thoughtfulness of good reporting.
What strategies have you found for keeping your life in balance this year? Even if you agree with what has been happening in Washington, have you experienced ‘compassion fatigue’ from all of the disasters? How do you cope, and still remain concerned and compassionate?
I love the image of our young ones as they look into the creche, getting it set up last Sunday. They see things we don’t see, and have a perspective we sometimes lose. May we be blessed with a child-like wonder for the message of Good News born at Christmas, and similar stamina to share it!