What You Need to Know


A news source puts out a summary in the morning: What you need to know. Below the headline it lists bullet points and links to more detail about each of the “must know” stories. I glance at the headlines with a critical eye. Nope. Don’t need to know any of those things.

I need to know it’s nearing time to harvest the garlic and there are tender young beans ready for picking. We’re almost out of soy milk. We’re in for a string of warm summer days. Blueberries have arrived at the green grocer.

And the news cycle keeps spinning, trying to tell me what I need to know and generously feeding me the flavour it deems most important.

I need to know that the noise distracts me from the better work of loving God and my neighbour. I’m not very good at either of those things and distraction is the last thing I need. The buzz gets in my head; I grow more anxious with each new headline. And if that’s not enough to disturb my peace, there’s the constant criticism from everybody over everything.

I need to know I’m beloved. I need to understand more of the wisdom gleaned in solitude and silence. I need to see how insidious distraction Is at keeping me from the timeless, most important things. I need to practice loving well.

And another day begins, bringing with it the temptation to give up my peace in favour of the “need to know”. Choose wisely what you allow space for in your thoughts, I tell myself.

Live beloved. Love well.

It’s hard, and I stumble more often than not. I stray from the path and get lost in the dark. I feel that lump of something in the pit of my stomach and it aches. All is not as any of us thought it would be by now and smoke clouds our eyes as we try to look farther down the road.

Shortly after four in the morning I pour warm frothy soy milk over fresh brewed coffee, drizzle a bit of caramel on top for a start-to-the-week treat, and take my mug out to the deck where it’s still dark but cooler than it is in the house,

There’s a comet visible in the eastern sky—NEOWISE, they call it. I’ve paid just enough attention to the news to know the bright light is the comet. It’s cool, I suppose. I should probably be more thrilled but comets aren’t my love language. Still, it brings me to prayer.

Oh God you are always with us and you have brought us in safety to this new day.

Teach us to love.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm here early most mornings with one of my photos and a few words about life and those thin places where faith intersects.
2 comments
  1. You expressed my thoughts better than I have been able. I’ve just been saying, I need to stop reading the news. I read the news headlines, which is already enough to disrupt any peace I may feel. I am addicted on some level though and find it difficult to break the habit. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. It’s so easy to get caught up in the vortex, Martha. For me, it doesn’t come without cost.

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