When I consider my day, I’m amazed at how much of my time is used attempting to stimulate myself in some way. I wake up, and I often start by checking the news on the BBC. I look to see if there is some new political intrigue happening in the world. On some days, there is a tragedy. On some days, there is a controversy or a scandal. Most of the things that I read have little or no effect on my life, but I read them to get myself worked up in some small way.
When there isn’t much on the BBC, I’ll take a glance at Facebook to see if anyone has liked my recent posts. If they have, I feel proud of myself. If they haven’t, I feel spurned and rejected. I’m alternatively sympathetic and tired of people’s meaningful posts. I alternatively happy and envious of people’s successes.
When I’m done with that, I’ll take a peek to see what’s trending on Twitter. If there isn’t anything that’s interesting on the trends, I’ll look up the latest nonsense that President Trump has tweeted. When he tweets something especially racist or cruel, I enjoy loathing him and feeling good about how much better I am than he is.
Then, on my way to work, I’ll listen to a podcast or NPR and hope that something makes me angry so that I can feel self-righteous. I hope for something that will make me feel right by thinking of other people as wrong.
At work, I talk about other people in ways that I shouldn’t. I put down others. I criticize them for their faults but not to their faces. I’m “astounded” at the bad behavior of others without considering my own shortcomings.
In my food choices, if I have the chance, I’ll opt for something immediate over something healthy.
On the way home, I like to find another podcast, usually about politics, that will make me laugh or get angry. If I can, I like a show that will stimulate me by making me laugh at others while getting angry at the same time.
Then in the evening, I’ll put on some television. I look for something to make me laugh, or scared, or angry.
It’s a constant push for external stimulation. I lack the courage to simply be. Instead of resting in the presence of God, I’m always hunting for something stimulating.
I need to fix this and learn how to simple rest in the presence of God.