To all you Works for me Wednesday people: sorry I didn't abide by the theme this week! I wrote this post first. But I left a comment there about toys, so I hope that makes up for it! So please read on. This is something I really needed to say.
Are you addicted to anything? I am. I'm not talking about cigarettes or alcohol or gambling, though those are common and bad enough, but I don't think we can label some things as "bad" addictions and others as "good" addictions. The fact is, they're addictions. And we need to get rid of them.
An addiction, I think, is a compulsive habit where you do things that you know aren't good for you because you get some sort of a high from it. For some of us, like I said, that can be shopping. For others it can be romance novels, or television, or even gossip. I have two. One is to Diet Pepsi. I need my caffeine, and I hate coffee. But I really need to stop!
But the one that impacts my life the most is politics. I am just addicted to political blogs. I spend so much time online reading them and getting righteously angry. And it robs me of time to write, to homeschool, to spend with my friends.
There was a time, many years ago, when I was addicted to television. One day I realized how much time I was wasting, and I quit cold turkey. It was only after that that I suddenly found the time to start writing. And write I did!
But ever since September 11 I've been glued to political blogs. Sure, I've still written, but my life has still been spent with too much time everyday looking at these blogs.
And last night, as the election results came in, I started to realize something. I am relying on politics to solve the world's problems. I look at abortion, and I want to fight for new laws. I think about terrorism, and I want a government that will protect us. I look at teen pregnancy, and I want a government that will do something about the schools.
Ultimately, though, Jesus didn't leave the world in the hands of the Roman government. He left it in the hands of a hodge podge group of men and women who had followed Him no earth.
Some issues, like the 13-year-old girl who was raped and then stoned that I reported on below, seem only to have political answers. What can I do about that, sitting here in Canada, except elect leaders that will intervene? But even there, maybe I rely too much on those leaders, and don't do enough to give money to support indigenous Christian work there, or pray enough for these girls, or reach out to the Muslims living here so that they can take the gospel back to where they were born.
And so if I want the world changed, even the parts of the world that are so far removed, it still starts with me. But how can I change the world if I'm so wrapped up in the internet?
I do believe that we should be well-informed on current events, and we should be well-informed when we vote (to tell you the truth, I'm worried that many weren't). But where will most of the good in the world come from? It won't come from government. It will come from individual people deciding to change their families, their communities, their country, and their world.
I've been consumed with prayer for this election, and I'm not saying that's a bad thing. But have I prayed as much for my brothers-in-law, who don't know Jesus? Have I prayed for my nieces and nephews? Have I prayed for the teens at my church? If I'm honest, I'd say I haven't, except for perfunctory prayers at night.
I have let my interest in politics take over my commitment and responsibility to those that God has placed in my sphere of influence.
Today I erased all the bookmarks to my favourite blogs. I changed my home page from a news page to Facebook (want to be my friend? I collect them! Just search for Sheila Wray Gregoire and I'll add you!).
I can change the world, even without being fully in the political know. I can change the world through the three precious children I homeschool. I can change the world through the teens I coach at church. I can change the world through my nieces and nephews, my neighbours, the doctors that my husband works with. I can change the world through this blog: by encouraging you all and pointing you to God.
And that's what I intend to concentrate on for now. Maybe one day I'll be able to go back to politics. I certainly will have to before the next Canadian election so I'm informed about the issues. But since we've recently had one up here, too, I think I'll bow out gracefully for a while and concentrate on those I can change.
Are you addicted to something? And is it taking away your real calling from God? Think about quitting cold turkey. My mother-in-law quit smoking after decades by just deciding to one day. It wasn't easy, but she is very glad she did it. I'm going to quit politics today. Diet Pepsi is another story, but I'm working on it. But don't let something steal you from what you've been called to--even if it seems like an innocent thing.
And I don't think we can just "decrease" the amount of time we spend on addictions. If we're addicted, we have to quit. It's as easy as that. So try a lot of prayer. Try taking it just one day at a time. Let others know that you're trying to quit so they can encourage you. But most of all, go to God and ask Him for a vision of what your life would be like if you let Him have control again, rather than compulsively going and doing something that isn't good for you.
I wish you all the best!
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Labels: blogging, politics, social issues, Works for Me Wednesdays