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Thoughts and Prayers

Whenever I hear interviews on the national news channels covering natural disasters, terrorist events, acts of violence, or families who have lost a loved one, I can pretty much predict how the newsperson will end the segment. In most cases, the interviewer will say something like, “our thoughts and prayers are with you.” I’ve noticed similar headlines in area newspapers when homes and businesses are struck by tornadoes or fire. I remember, too, the Orlando Sentinel’s front-page headline reading “Godspeed John Glenn” when this American hero passed away.

I once worked for a major newspaper corporation, and I know at the time that the majority of the newspaper publishers were liberal in their ideals and beliefs. For the most part, they pooh-poohed biblical principles and the conservative point of view, and they took any and every opportunity to mock those who held those beliefs. God is certainly not in the day-to-day thinking of many journalists or newscasters. Yet I find it so interesting that when catastrophes happen, or when newspersons really want to get across a meaningful sentiment, they don’t hesitate to use wording such as “Godspeed John Glenn” or editorialize that their “thoughts and prayers” are with someone.

How is it that they can be so calloused and antagonistic toward the spiritual things of this world in their day-to-day lives, yet when they want to express sentimentality, they bring up God and prayers? To me, this is the height of hypocrisy. Either you believe in God or you don’t. He is either a part of your life, or he isn’t. He isn’t a switch that can be turned on when you want Him, but kept off the rest of the time. He is not a part-time God. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is everything.

Perhaps their apparent callousness when everything is going okay is a blind, or intentional, new age belief that they, themselves, are as gods. When life is going at its usual pace, filled with its usual news, journalists and newscasters are convinced that they are in control of their own destiny. Yet when tragedy strikes, they have to admit that they have no means within themselves to solve the problem. They are forced to allow the message of their inward hearts to surface, telling them that there is an ultimate power in control, and it is only He who has the wherewithal to solve, comfort and heal.

I feel sorry for them. In one breath they’ll use God’s name in vain and criticize those whose lives are based solely on who He is. Yet in time of death or sorrow, they use His name as if it suddenly has meaning. Perhaps if they were to put aside their pride and self-absorption, they would discover that they have a hole in their lives that can only be mended and filled with the person of Jesus Christ. And, if they only could comprehend the love He has for them, in spite of their attitudes and disbeliefs, their lives would be changed forever.

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