Years ago, we used to subscribe to a weekly newspaper called the Grit. It was geared towards rural and small town life, filled with homey stories and pithy sayings. You probably have to be a senior citizen to remember it, although a little research shows that it is still published in a somewhat different form as a glossy magazine. The Grit's editorial policy was stated by its founder back in the late 1800s:
"Always keep Grit from being pessimistic. Avoid printing those things which distort the minds of readers or make them feel at odds with the world. Avoid showing the wrong side of things, or making people feel discontented. Do nothing that will encourage fear, worry, or temptation... Wherever possible, suggest peace and good will toward men. Give our readers courage and strength for their daily tasks. Put happy thoughts, cheer, and contentment into their hearts."
I don't know of a single other publication or media enterprise that has such a standard. If the modern media is only place you go for your perspective on life, that perspective will be inescapably bent towards trouble, danger, and disaster. The good parts of life don't make the news. And they don't pay the salaries of the media folks and politicians who depend on pandering to our fears and desires to stay in business. Tragedy, discontent, and fear sell, and if we were to believe it, our very future is in jeopardy.
There is however, another story to tell. Tonight I attended a Footsteps Holy Hour. Footsteps is an interdenominational Christian weekend retreat for teenagers. Holy hour is when teens who have already been through the weekend and adults who have attended a Koinonia weekend gather to worship and pray for the teens and the team working with them. During the Holy hour, we are introduced to a team of twelve teenagers who have committed to praying round the clock for the candidates, sponsors, and team members. It's hard to not be impressed by their dedication and enthusiasm, and for their passion for Christ and his people. With all the bad news we hear and see, this is good news indeed, and I am thankful to have seen just a glimpse of it this evening.