Written and Shared by: Chaplain Chris Belfield
I know I have mentioned it before – the pandemic has seemed to have given us a new vernacular within the past year that is now accepted as normal. We have become all too familiar with: isolation, quarantine, face masks, social distancing Skype, and Zoom. In retrospect, these have all ostensibly been to help us get through these perilous and challenging times while still trying to maintain some semblance of new normalcy. I recently read of new medical phenomena – "Zoom fatigue." I was almost set to grin at what must seem like a far-fetched assumption until I reflected that the previous week, I was part of five lengthy Zoom meetings within two days. And to be honest – at the end of the last meeting I was feeling a little
bleary-eyed from looking at a computer screen. However, we have to admit – there are some distinct advantages to these meetings over face-to-face meetings. First and foremost is the ability to mute yourself and also opt-out of video-sharing if you forgot to shave, or just want to dress really casually. Regardless of when the pandemic ends – and it will – I believe computer meetings will be embraced and continue on due to accessibility and convenience.
Another byproduct of the pandemic has been the increased reliance on social media and mainstream media news outlets for current information. It seems that sometimes ignorance is bliss. By that I mean we are the recipients of the information and seldomly the source. And so it has been that a current trend has been developing over the past year. I will refer to it as the cancel trend. Now, when I was growing up there were two meanings for the term cancel. The first was that school was canceled due to snow days. Yes! Then there was the announcement that a favorite TV show had been canceled. Why? Still, we moved on. It was with some real head-scratching that I read recently that Dr. Seuss's writings are to be canceled as being insensitive. With little time to digest this assault on my childhood, assault round number two announced that Mr. Potato Head would now be gender-neutral to be acceptable to …whom? I am nervous about what the news will next disclose. Will Mr. Green Jeans be determined to be insensitive to the other colors? What about Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and the Dick and Jane readers? I am of the humble opinion that it is easier to criticize than it is to appreciate when something good is done. Johnny Mercer & the Pied Pipers had a hit song in 1944, “Accentuate the Positive.” The song was nominated for the "Academy Award for Best Original Song" at the 18th Academy Awards in 1945 after being used in the film Here Come the
Waves. Let’s take a look at that sentiment today.
First, some publications are known for emphasizing positive outcomes. There is Guide Post, Positive News, Reader’s Digest, and dozens more, as well as many positive websites. I’m not advocating ignoring reality, just getting a healthy dose of positive news as well. I would be remiss if I did not also include the Bible. So, let me attempt a Lake County version of accentuating the positive. Feel free to use this in your own communities as well. We could start a nation-wide grassroots effort to be positive.
Here we go. A big shout out to the following groups:
THANK YOU and GOD BLESS YOU!
Our encouragement verse for this week is:
Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
May you be blessed by God's word.