Our fifteen year old granddaughter, Claire, is spending a few days with us. One morning, when Grandpa flipped on Fox & Friends, Claire said, “Is the news on twenty-four hours a day? Don’t those people ever sleep?”

We cracked up, of course. Out here in the country, we rely on satellite television. Claire’s family uses more selective surfing of channels in the city. They don’t have cable news. She made me think, though. Sometimes I consider unplugging all the news sources in my life, because they are such a downer.

Today, though, I read this quote from Dutch theologian Henri Nouwen:

“A real spiritual life does exactly the opposite: it makes us so alert and aware of the world around us, that all that is and happens becomes part of our contemplation and meditation and invites us to a free and fearless response.” Henri Nouwen (from James Emery White on Church & Culture.)

A free and fearless response.

Is that what happens when I hear about school shootings, immigration issues, and general shouting among  political parties? No. Not at all. My first response is, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.” But, I don’t actually want Him to come back until everyone who is lost has a chance to be found. Instead of unplugging, I want to plug into the power of the Holy Spirit and figure out a new reaction to trouble.

So, today, our church started a new Bible reading plan. And one of the first selections was this:

He [Jesus] is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17, HCSB

Ah, there it is. The free and fearless response. He is before all things. All things. And, He holds all things together.

That includes nations, people groups, clans, families, and my own little circle of the world. He really does “hold the whole world in His hands.” No matter how gloomy life looks in the future, I plan to reach for that response.

Want to join me?