In one of his movies Steve Martin plays an LA weatherman whose life is boring and pointless because the weather is always the same, the forecast is always the same, and he is thus in a huge emotional and professional rut. He even takes to taping the weekend weather forecasts on Friday and playing them as though they're live on Saturday so that he doesn't have to come in to the office. I have the same feeling about the news. Have you noticed that everything that's treated seriously on the news relates either to the economy, politics, or some form of human tragedy (plane crash, mass murder, celebrity death). If we ever needed proof that we are a secular society, a people content to live only "under the sun," this surely is it. News, of course, like all TV, is ratings-driven, so news producers put on the air what they believe people want to see. And what do we want to see? Whatever relates to our money, our government, or the tragedies and hardships of others (at least it's not us, you see). Is there nothing else in this country or in the world worthy of serious consideration in prime time? Granted, we hear about an occasional scientific breakthrough - some new drug or procedure - but that just comes back to the human factor and my health and wellbeing. As far as most Americans know there isn't a first-rate thinker, artist, composer, educator, or inventor in the whole of the country - or, if there is, it's not the sort of thing that interests us, at any rate. The Christian cannot allow the evening news to shape and define his worldview. There is more to life, and there are more ways to enjoy and glorify God, than what the prime time news will ever put forward for our consideration. "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it" (Ps. 24.1). Fight the tendency to think that the only important issues are political, economic, or health and happiness oriented. The glory of God is in all He has made, and, if we can discipline ourselves to slow down, pay attention, and study the works of God, we may find that the world is a much more interesting and wonderful place than the evening news leads us to believe.
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