Now What?

Isn’t it interesting how all of the media “experts” got it wrong? During the last few weeks, we were promised landslide victories and explosive violence. But, neither happened. It was a week that revealed just how many differing opinions make up this country, and when asked to choose between only two options, the outcome is equally diverse. 

I have decided that I am okay with that.

I enjoy robust discussions with friends and colleagues about capitalism and social justice. I choose to be all in on possibly being wrong, but being willing to learn from a different perspective. Bending my ear doesn’t mean that I am bending my knee. However, it does mean that I value people and choose love over simply choosing a side.

If our system has been working for over 240 years and has led us through difficult times to become the most humane, equal, and just model of society, when and why did it go dark? And why have fear and anger developed our most significant historical swings of power? 

“Too many questions, got me searchin for answers.” Tom Kiefer

I came across an article in Rolling Stone that said we are currently living in the safest time ever in history, and it begged the question, So, why are we all so afraid? This quote from the article made that question a bit clearer for me. 

“Many believe the amygdala, a tiny, almond-shaped region deep in each hemisphere of the brain, is the home of our emotional responses, specifically fear. The author Daniel Goleman has coined the term “amygdala hijacking” to describe what inflammatory rhetoric and imagery are designed to do: trigger the emotional brain before the logical brain has a chance to stop it.”

That seems about right. I feel like my amygdala went out to an election party, made a few twists and turns, and ended the night on a Corona bender. Are you worn out too?

When talking about fear with my friend Jason Cates, a leader in the recovery community, he said this, “Anger is something that boils up when I think about things of the past that I cannot change. Fear is something that arises in me when I think about the future that I have little power to change.”

So, what’s the metaphorical Gatorade for our exhausted amygdala? Let’s take a couple swigs of Scripture and get back on track.

“Perfect Love casts out all fear.” 1 John 4:18

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Proverbs 17:22

I will leave you with something controversial to consider. If what we need is a little more love and a lot more laughter, then perhaps putting up the Christmas decorations early and watching your favorite holiday movies may be just what is needed to give your tired amygdala a little rest. I know it will mine.

Pass the eggnog! Cheers!

We will all get through this together.

In His service and at yours! 

~Shawn

Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

2 thoughts on “Now What?

  1. What a great sermon Pastor! Didn’t know you spoke my “native language” . You make so many good points for us to think upon, and not end up sounding like a “debbie downer”.The Lord is in charge as usual, therefore….. Thanks so much, for a great message!

    Like

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