Daily Riches: The Soul-wrenching Work of Letting Jesus Deal with Our Stuff (Jayson Bradley, Neil Postman, Matt Groening, Louise C.K)

“One way of looking at the history of the human group is that it has been a continuing struggle against the veneration of ‘crap.’” Neil Postman

“For most of recorded history, you couldn’t get away from it. The farmer, monk, chef, and seamstress all worked in relative silence within the rhythms of the day, month, and year. Gradually, technology intruded upon those rhythms and upset that silence. Electric light extended the evening and absconded with our rest. Radio introduced constant chatter, and television doubled down on that chatter requesting our total attention. …When I was a teen, I was excited for the ability to listen to a portable cassette; now I carry thousands of albums around with me. …Do you know those people who seem to carry with them an inner stillness? …Most people I know (myself included) are overstimulated and overwhelmed…. We scroll through a vast network of news stories, updates, and information responding in ways that seem more conditioned than reflective, our minds abuzz with constant distracted activity. …Louis C.K. nails the problem here.

…In the most profound way, Louise C.K. is totally right. [We think] ‘…It’s that God-shaped vacuum. He just needs Jesus to fill it up.’ But Christianity alone doesn’t just fill up that emptiness. Christians are as guilty as anyone else of looking for a shortcut to fill that hole …and, despite what we say, we fill it with the same exact things as everyone else. We may be able to curb that hollowness for a while, but eventually it catches up to us…. We run headlong into that void without the discipline to navigate it, and it consumes us. …It’s like the whole of our psyche has followed Marge Simpson’s advice to Lisa, ‘Take all your bad feelings and push them down, all the way down past your knees, until you’re almost walking on them. And then you’ll fit in, and you’ll be invited to parties, and boys will like you. And happiness will follow.’ Silence is the tool that brings to the surface all that stuff we’ve buried or lies hidden from us. The silence we need is more than an absence of sound; it’s a break from constant stimulus and activity. It’s about allowing the tangled cords in our spirit and mind to unravel and be stilled. It’s about stopping the constant need to control our surroundings with our actions and words in a never-ending quest to drown out the unrest in our hearts. It’s about facing the dragon of emptiness, loneliness, frustration, anger, hurt, and need head on . . . and doing the soul-wrenching work of letting Jesus deal with it.” Jayson Bradley

  • Do you still yourself to let difficult emotions surface?
  • Are you willing to do “soul-wrenching work?”

Abba, still my soul.

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