I confess that I’m a bit of a news junkie and usually I enjoy the 24-7 cable news cycle. But, lately I’ve had it. I’ve had it with talking heads spouting their opinions. I’ve had it with people yelling at each other, blaming each other, one-upping each other and belittling each other’s opinions. I’m tired of the latest and greatest poll that directly contradicts yesterday’s latest and greatest poll. I’m tired of endless analysis of who will run for president and who will vote for whom and how much money everyone is raising. I’m tired of hearing how the government is in dire danger of shutting down next week. Didn’t we just fix that last week? I’m sick and tired of all the noise, all the dissension, and all the anger that pervades our national and cultural debate.
In the middle of my media malaise I came across a different kind of news item. A cross country runner, a high school student, came upon a competitor lying by the side of the road bleeding. He was unable to get help. Many other runners had passed him, perhaps thinking they’d send help at the end of the race. This young man picked up the injured man and carried him to the finish line and to medical help. This modern day Good Samaritan lost the race, but won an award for his courage and decency. He was mystified about all the attention. He had only done what he knew was right.
My spirit was revived by this story of human kindness. How do these simple moments of goodness and human kindness get shouted down by the “oh so important” things that fill our minds? I’ve been looking for ways to notice the quiet, simple joys of life, such as taking walks in the beautiful early autumn sunshine, turning off the television and turning on some music instead, and finding little moments that remind me of God’s presence and his loving kindness in all of life.
Shortly after I read this story I received a new book in the mail, Padre Pio’s Spiritual Direction for Every Day. I opened the book to that day’s entry and I found these words:
“Peace is a simplicity of spirit, serenity of mind, quietness of soul, and the bond of love. Peace is the order, the harmony within us. It is the continuous contentment that comes from the testimony of a clear conscience. It is the holy joy of a heart in which God reigns.”
That runner knew the order, the harmony within. May we all come to know and live that peace.
Featured Photo Credit: Yuri Arcurs/PhotoXpress