GENDUSA COLUMN: Let’s lighten our hearts to enlighten the world

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, March 15, 2023

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They say life passes before you preceding your demise. I am either preparing to be demised, or the headlines of the world are causing my sleepless nights. Either way, it is no fun to wake up every two hours only to give up and head for coffee by 6 a.m. 

Now, if my thoughts were pleasant during the night hours, I could quickly return to dreamland, but instead, it is often negative, nagging reminders of troubled times. I wake depressed, doubtful and doggone tired. 

Last night my thoughts were a series of short, disconnected sentences spanning the globe.

For instance, “Why are folks selling destructive anger?” “Is writing columns worth the trouble? I should quit.” “I hope our seemingly dead jasmine returns to life this spring.” “I need new sheets!” “Lord, why did I believe the 20-year-old who assured me her moisturizer would stop aging?’ “I should have done a better job as a mother.” And on and on until the coffee was in my cup.

See what I mean! Ridiculous! I can’t remedy those who gain fame or power by selling anger, but I wish I could. People often get addicted to listening to a favorite news program or politician who occasionally tells untruths because they know their audience embraces the lies. Truth is out there, but if it doesn’t match our idea of facts, we must enjoy buying anger. 

Writing about goodness, unity or God seems overshadowed by those who promote hate, divisiveness and evil. Sometimes I want to throw the old keyboard out the window, and I wonder why in the world any of us try. Every writer enjoys responses, but folks reply more to agreeing and sharing the hostile rhetoric than encouraging words. 

The Confederate Jasmine on my arbor may be barer this spring or, worse, gone. The sheets are nearing their last trip to the washer, and it is doubtful that even the overpriced moisturizer will help the jasmine, sheets or I escape aging. 

We are a worrisome lot. Troubles with parenting, money, health, relationships and work whirl around us. There is always something lurking in the corner of our lives to upset our days and mess with our nights. We often don’t know what to do with all the “stuff’ trying to sabotage happiness.

Some of life’s experiences cause angst, and though we try, it is unavoidable. However, there are many problems we can alleviate if we so desire and decide to replace fear with calm and peace.

Recently, a declaration in the night threw all my worries out the window with a mighty blow. I changed my whole perspective on dreadful doubt and distress in the dark. “Lynn, lighten your heart to enlighten the world.”  But I don’t believe that message was just for me; it is for all of us. 

We must be the ones who enlighten the world, not the ones who darken lives and create fear and anxiety. It is up to each of us to not spread words of division, chaos, anger and ridicule. We are better than that, and God knows it. But He needs our help to stop the evil that permeates our world and throws torment into minds and dreams everywhere.

We are becoming soaked in controversial “isms.” Liberalism, conservativism, racism, extremism, separatism, antisemitism, Fauci-ism, climate-ism or woke-ism. And no matter what we each believe, many are determined to spread seeds of disdain and divergency across our land.

Emails and social media full of dark pessimism and distrust lighten our computers and phones hourly.  We think nothing of sharing the vitriol because we errantly believe it is the right thing to do to illuminate all with our personal opinions. Yet, we will likely not change anyone’s mind. But what we will do is darken souls and diminish dreams. 

Godly hearts must stop the madness of division, incivility and downright meanness now. 

None of us can help each other and the world with destructive spirits. And none of us will survive without God’s help to unburden our heavy hearts and become beacons of hope, not hate. 

How do we enlighten our world? We do so with good intentions, temperate speech and pure kindness.  Evil will take us down, destroy who we are, and we will lose all we have. The isms will not be significant because our freedom will be gone. 

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope He has given to those He called His holy people who are His rich and glorious inheritance.” Ephesians 1:18

We can be God’s light if we decide we are doggone tired of the darkness.