Stepping back from the chaos

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I have decided to absent myself from most of the news for the time being. This year, 2020, has been a difficult year made all the more painful by the election process. Friendships ended, families were at each other’s throats, and churches and clergy, both liberal and conservative, forgot that Jesus was their savior and looked to a person to be their deliverer.

The election is over but, at this writing, the contention is not. Votes are being recounted, legal action is being taken, and it is entirely possible, though I think not probable, that the final outcome will not be determined until January. Either way, half the country will be bitterly disappointed. So, I withdraw for now.

I am not withdrawing from life, or family, or calling. I simply choose to not be bombarded by the news outlets at this present moment. For one thing, the news folks are untrustworthy. Depending on their own ideology, they will slant the news, omit parts of what should be the news, report stuff that should not be the news, and editorialize instead of simply giving the news.

I understand that the media outlets are not charitable organizations. They are driven by money and they are driven by ratings. It behooves them to stir the pot, to gin people up, to sensationalize, to report the lurid, the inane, and the outlandish. It helps their ratings which affects their money. Our mistake is that we believe that they are neutral, unbiased, and concerned about our welfare. They are not.

I have also taken a discussion break on social media, I still check in every day. I check on some friends and church members, I look at the pages of my family. But, If I encounter someone who is on a rant, be he/she Democrat or Republican, if I feel the heat start to rise, I just leave the page, take a deep breath, and move on. I am choosing to not spend my limited time and depleted emotions on arguments that cannot be won regarding an election that is already over.

Perhaps I shall re-engage in the near future. Perhaps not. The certainty is that we will have a President eventually and, when that person is inaugurated, I will pray for him (or her if something unusual happens) and so will my church on almost every Sunday morning. I assume that, when a final decision is made, someone will tell me about it.

I am not watching the news on television nor do I listen to the news on the radio. I do read about the local news in the local papers and check in on the success or failures of the high school sports teams locally. I certainly do not trust social media to be unbiased, so that’s out as well.

In fact, I’m also not watching professional sports. I am weary of the controversies and the attempt to infect the games with ideology and perceived offenses. If, for example, you want to kneel during the National Anthem, fine, but I’m not watching you nor will I buy your stuff. I watch TV to be entertained not to have someone’s ideology shoved in my face, whatever the point is.

So, I listen to music on the radio during drive time. I have rediscovered Southern Gospel Music on Sirius Radio Channel 65, music I grew up with, but have had no contact with, for nearly 40 years.

I watch selected TV series on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I have finished “West Wing,” “Star Trek Voyager,” “Star Trek: Enterprise,” and the Father Brown Mysteries. I am almost through the British series, “Cadfael,” and I actually watched the very first “Twilight Zone” episode last week for the first time.

I do not need to be introduced to pain, sorrow, loss, and death. I get that on my job. As, I said, I watch TV to be entertained and to give my mind a rest.

I also read a lot. I probably have read 75-100 books this year during my off time. I have found that everybody finds ways to fill the time they have. Some spend it on social media arguing with people, and others just go around angry and bitter and looking for a fight. Me? I’m taking a break. A vacation, if you will, from all the hostility engendered by a weird year and a nasty election.

And I am praying. I used to pray that God would bless America. Now, I tend to pray that God would simply have mercy on America. In fact, my role model in this prayer is the Patriarch Abraham who prayed that God would spare Sodom and Gomorrah for the sake of ten righteous people. Abraham should have negotiated better. I pray that God will spare America if He finds ANY righteous people within her borders.

Anyway, 2021 is coming soon enough with all her challenges and opportunities. Thanksgiving is around the corner and Christmas is near. I may stay up on December 31, not to see the New Year come in, but to make sure that the old year goes out. In the meantime, I am taking a mental health break — I am stepping back from the chaos.

[David Epps is the Rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King (www.ctk.life). During the crisis, the church is live streaming at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays at http://www.facebook.com/cctksharpsburg/ He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South He may contacted at davidepps@ctk.life.]

5 COMMENTS

  1. Good idea, poor timing. You probably wrote this and began your isolation Wednesday. Again, bad timing because you missed what is either the biggest scandal in modern history or the best head fake/comedy show that has ever been on cable TV. Either way, it took place yesterday at noon and was presented by Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and a blonde pit bull who is legal counsel for Trump or his campaign. What a show.

    If even 10% of what they outlined was true, it will be a scandal and some of the workers and supervisors should be going to jail for 10 years and 1 or 2 states may be shedding enough of those suspicious ballots to make a difference in the totals – but not enough to tilt the whole thing to Trump. The “hundreds of affidavits” is pretty compelling stuff and if presented properly it could throw the election into the state legislatures of some of the states, but that’s about all. Of course DOJ and the FBI needs to lead the charge on criminal prosecutions.

    On the other hand, if it is a head fake, the 3 emotional diatribes from each presenter will live forever on YouTube. The legal pit bull was the best, although all were good. If nothing else the shady Dem night workers may not be as bold in GA during our runoff. And future poll workers will probably be more vigilant. Certainly this points out a need for younger and more computer-savvy poll workers. I’m pretty sure there will be some undercover fraud specialists imbedded as regular poll workers during the runoff and maybe always. I’m going to try to be one of those. I’d love to capture (on video) a sleazy political operative stealing our freedom.

    Good luck Rudy and others. Loved the presentation yesterday. Check it out Rev. Epps.

      • OK STF – it ain’t so. Never said Trump was swindled out of reelection. What I said was that IF Rudy and others were right then that would be a big deal, or they were just goofing around with an enormous head fake. I really wanted Rev. Epps to share this moment in history -that is all.

        So, 2 choices: Trump won by 700,000 votes and the Dems stole them in the middle of the night OR Rudy and company are conjuring up a prove able lie that they are foisting on American people for some unknown reason. Maybe there is another explanation, but I have no idea what it would be.

        I’m going to do the only thing I can – wait and see.

  2. I find it interesting that you state that “For one thing, the news folks are untrustworthy.”

    Perhaps, you forgot that you are one of them? In fact, you might even be considered one of the Pot stirrers you complain about!

    • IT – Rev. Epps is much too timid to take a political stand, preferring to nibble safely around the perimeter. He constantly touts his military service and will take a strong stand only when some teenage kid dares to wear Marine Corp swag. His columns are not consequential enough to stir a cup of water.