Hitting the “delete” key of life

Published 7:00 am Saturday, August 6, 2016

With the omnipresence of vast media sources, the often overpowering levels of information provided each day may be overwhelming. Given the blitz of remorseless advertising, unwanted communications, and the flood of equally nonsensical dribble, we often resort to using our keyboard’s delete key to reduce our sensory overloads. Yet, in their offing these subtle, and not so subtle, intrusions leave a mark on their much intended victim. Consider these efforts as akin to having received a small cut while slicing the Creoles. The pain may be brief, but the mark endures.
Given the recent spate of distressing news about the generally poor behaviors of the population, both in the political and community arenas, it is most difficult to edit, or delete, the reactions to this news from our minds. The inevitable result is heated passion, whether it be founded in tolerance, intolerance, prejudice or understanding. To use the modern expression, “Garbage in, garbage out.”
Many times our passions, also known as our egos, get in the way of our acting well towards one another and, we should acknowledge, with our Creator. What a marvel it would be if we could hit the delete button on the computer above our necks, and eliminate the superfluous and confusing data which assaults us at every turn. What a marvel it would be if we had the ready judgment, or inclination, to do so.
Given today’s ready reference to the Biblical, “thou shalt not judge,” we often use this as an excuse to not only hold others less than accountable, but ourselves as well. In reality, we make judgments all of the time and are dependent on the data, contained within ourselves, to make these judgments. What kind of car should I drive? Is it time to get out of bed and get ready to go to work? What meal do I need to prepare for my family. Do I discipline my unruly child? What will be my decision, while serving on the jury? These answers effect, not only ourselves, but so many others.
For several decades, antivirus software has protected our electronic gizmos.
Constantly vigilant against the darkness of the hackers, whose only desire is to steal our information and corrupt our devices, the software provides a notable barrier of safety. However, no matter the programmer, or provider, it is not foolproof. In spite of our best efforts, when infected by this insidious malaise, the repercussions may be costly.
We would be blessed to have an antivirus software for our minds. Imagine the security it would offer to us. We could be consoled with the knowledge there was a screening methodology, which would prevent us from making errors in our judgments and regularly ignore the polluting distractions of this world. This software, would free us from having to make choices, as we then would have the ready guidance to prevent ourselves, from ourselves, with no effort on our part.
However, God did not give us some automated system to guard our minds. He gave us His Son, as a sacrifice for us, and as His earthly guide and Savior for us. Jesus’ words are the real antivirus, the real keeper of Satan from the doors of our minds. God gave us the ability to choose, and he gives us the ability to say, “No” to the rampant evil in our world.
In a very real sense, this is our own personal internal delete button, our own antivirus, which has been given to us by God. Yet, we must have the courage, fortitude and presence of mind to frequently use it, when the darkness of this world distracts us from the real message of God’s love for us, and all of His Creation.
By Fr. Jonathan Filkins

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