I know it when I have it: serenity — and I know when I am losing it. And everybody around me knows when I have lost it.
But serenity is recoverable — available for the asking. (The Serenity Prayer)
Serenity’s definition is the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled. I model it best when sleeping . . . moderately well when I remember to breathe deeply.
Breathing deeply is easier when I keep my mouth shut.
Keeping my mouth shut . . . well, guess that’s why I “blog.”
Recently I listened to a dear friend expound on the pervasive corruption of everybody and every thing — except their sources of information. When they pulled out their phone to show me their superior information sources I knew I was losing my serenity.
On one hand, I get that the world’s a dangerous place, and people always have an agenda. ( See Revelation 1-3)
On the other . . . if no person, place or thing is trustworthy except the information posted by a select few on the Internet . . . how than can we live if everyone but thee and me are money-grubbing liars?
(What would be the incentive to write — or read — British mysteries?)
My friend candidly acknowledged why the podcasts appealed: they reported what they believed.
Because I do not have answers to every objection — and because I am not a scientist, elected official or lawyer — and because I am not averse to being choosy about news sources that fall in line with what I believe — I kept my mouth shut . . . mostly — but it hurt that Conspiracy Theories dampened any conversations about recovery, Christian faith, or just friendly kibitzing.
In the words of Damon Young, I feel like I dropped my house keys and am watching them swirl down a storm drain.(Losing a Friend to COVID Conspiracy Theories )
When I think of all the unsettling pronouncements my friend made something I had read, a quote from J.I. Packer, replenished my serenity.
He weathered several splits from Christians because his convictions were not in line with others. After a painful and public disagreement Packer wrote:
Was either of us right? History will judge, and to history I remit the matter.” (J. I. Packer: An Evangelical Life by Leland Ryken, p. 202)
Whoa . . .
Reading about the 1918 pandemic — which I heartily commend — I wonder how will history judge the choices we made during this pandemic?
“Society cannot function if it is every man for himself. By definition, civilization cannot survive that.
Those in authority must retain the public’s trust. The way to do that is to distort nothing, to put the best face on nothing, to try to manipulate no one.”
― John M. Barry, The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History
Whew . . .