I listened to sports talk radio on the way to work this morning (that’s what happens when you carpool with a boy), and the North Georgia news came on with the latest headlines: Woman stabs two year old daughter to death, rain causes increase of salmonella in local river, local college student goes missing.
The stories brought me deeper and deeper into my seat until I could barely see over the dash. I didn’t know what to do with the sadness that had just come through the speakers.
“If it bleeds, it leads.” Right? The news serves as a constant multi-media reminder that the world is ugly and that there’s really not much we can do about it. It’s impossible for me to turn on the evening news without walking away shaken and deeply scared about everything from what’s in my fridge to what could be waiting outside of my door. Bad news dominates – there’s not room for much else.
But we do it too. So often, when catching up with a friend or my mom, I give them the worst news first: This happened yesterday, I’m stressed out about this, this isn’t going well. I skip telling stories of the good things, preferring to swim around in them until something bad happens. Only then do I come up for air and share the news. My headlines tell a small fraction of the story. And I know I’m not the only one.
But why do we do this?
Do we think that positive headlines are less compelling or that difficult things are more important? Maybe they are. But I know that, at least for me, the bloody headlines of the news, and the ones I sometimes use to summarize my life, aren’t inspiring the change I’m hoping for.
I’m embracing the reality of struggle – in the world and in my own life – but that doesn’t mean that there’s no room for joy.
In fact, I think that the presence of struggle is even more reason to embrace the realities of joy –shouting them from the rooftops and telling anyone who will listen about the sparkle and pop of this beautiful life.
And so I’m working on becoming a billboard for the hopeful headlines. I want to champion the cause of the unsung heroes and see the overlooked stories of love. I want to bring our attention to what we have instead of always lamenting about what’s missing. I want to tell the thousands of good stories that swirl around the hard ones like brilliant threads of color.
I want to tell them because I need them.
This is why testimony is so powerful. It reminds us what God is capable of. Hearing how he provided or the beautiful ways that he loves my roommate, reminds me of his character and that I can expect that love from him too.
This week, lets take some time and brag a bit – not about ourselves or what we’ve accomplished, but about how good God is and about all of the amazing people and opportunities he’s put in our lives.
He deserves it and we always need reminders that he’s good.
Here are a few of my headlines this week:
– I’m in love. That’s all there is to it. I wake up every single day, amazed by the man who loves me.
– I got to volunteer at the Humane Society this weekend and found the cutest dog in the entire world.
– One of my closest friends is getting married this weekend to a fantastic Canadian man, and I am going to cry like a baby.
– Several of my best friends are coming into town for the wedding, and again, I’m going to cry like a baby. I cannot wait.
– My birthday is coming up (May 15th). I’m turning 25!
And that’s just the beginning…
What are your headlines this week?