Remember when the largest hurricane to ever be measured was about to destroy Mexico?
Oh yeah, that’s old news.
Did you hear what the official death toll from that massive hurricane was?
What a disappointment, right? All that attention and anticipation leading up to the impending catastrophe and the death toll is zero? Talk about anticlimactic! I bet there were more than a few news stations who regretted spending the resources to have a reporter on the ground covering what was sure to be one of the greatest news stories of all time. What a bust.
People: what is wrong with us??
How have we become so addicted to death and destruction that we allow tragedy to drive our news media?
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve turned on a show like Good Morning America and have been overwhelmed by the dramatic music and bold headlines that can make even the most mundane event seem like the end of the world.
We live in an age when bad news goes viral, because quite frankly, bad news is exciting. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying that bad news is a good thing. But there is something about bad news that drives our adrenaline and makes us want to hear/watch more.
The problem is, when we’re addicted to bad news, good news becomes boring. Unless it’s a video of a clever proposal that has 2 million views on YouTube or a small dog that can bark the alphabet, good news just doesn’t grasp our attention.
Which is probably why we haven’t heard about the “disappointing” death toll in Mexico.
The pervasive nature of bad news in today’s society leads us to constantly say, “What’s wrong with this world? We’re all heading to hell in a handbasket!”
I really wonder what would happen if we were exposed to all of the good news in the world with the same intensity that we are exposed to the bad. I know my morning cup of coffee would sure be more enjoyable if that were the case!
As a Christian, I think this addiction to bad news keeps us from praising God for God’s faithfulness to us. How can I praise God that no lives were lost in that incredible Mexican hurricane if I’m not aware of the news story in the first place?
I fully recognize the danger in jumping to the conclusion that it was God who kept that hurricane from killing anybody. For one, there were apparently some lives lost a couple days later as a secondary result of damage that was caused by Hurricane Patricia. Secondly, how, then, are we able to answer the question, “Why didn’t God save everyone from that other natural disaster (you name the disaster)?”
But the downside of such thinking is swinging the pendulum too far, and never giving God credit for anything. I would like to think that God is responsible for far more good in this world than we are ever aware.
I choose to praise God for God’s faithfulness to us. And I sure wish our news channels reported more of the boring, good stuff to make me even more aware of the ways that God is at work in the world.