We live in a reactionary world. Someone sees something on facebook, a news headline, a misleading blog title, a edited picture, a moment of weakness or short-sightedness of someone forever etched on the internet open where then everyone can react and respond, spout out their opinion and make judgements.
The world is so different than the world of my childhood. Its more complicated. Its so easy to compare yourself with others because their life or at least one version of it is right there on your computer, on your phone, on multiple apps and websites. Its complicated because its too easy to judge, too easy to react to something that we don’t know anything about.
I’m realizing that in order to be more happy, I need to consume less. Consume less media, less opinions of others. I’m a major information collector. I love to hear opinions, listen to experiences, but I feel like while it seems like you get that in social media, really you get a snapshot in time of someones thought, just like you’re getting from me now. But in reality, something I wrote yesterday, I could have a completely different opinion about today. And something I wrote a few years ago, I’ve gained some perspective about it. While I may fundamentally feel the same, I may have had additional insights due to additional experiences.
Today, a new statement came out from the church. While the statement is new, the doctrine it supports is not. In my morning facebook browsing, I saw a lot of reactionary opinions of people I love dearly. While I respect their opinions, I immediately recognized the need to get informed for myself and formulate my own opinion. As I did so, I felt so immensely settled, so peaceful. I delighted in acting and not just reacting. Even as I turned to KSL and read their headline, I thought…that’s a misleading title that encourages people to react…hopefully they act by actually reading the story and seeking to understand.
I believe that it is God’s intent that mortality be a time for us to learn to act. He wants us to remember him, to remember his plan, to remember why we are really here and what this mortal experience is really about. He wants to help us learn to focus and to see what is truly important and how God truly has a plan for all his children. It’s an eternal plan though. If we are constantly reacting without figuring out how things tie in to the fundamental eternal truths, then we sell ourselves short. If we are constantly trying to fit in, find our place, be a part of a crowd, then we are missing out on our most essential identity as a child of God.
Tonight, as I drove home from the temple, these words came to mind…
I am a child of God. And so my needs are great.
Help me to understand His words, before it grows too late.
I know that He will help us understand his words if we ask.