For your consideration…

I should not be surprised at today’s message. In various ways has come into play for a few months. We get to decide how we “frame the picture.” Just like how we frame any picture we take with our camera, we frame how we look at the world, its joys and its problems.

Let’s use the media for example. They are so hard to avoid. If you don’t listen to the news on the TV or radio, they get you when you pick up your phone or turn on your TV. I long for the days where you could turn on the TV and just get the facts and then listen to our parents and neighbors hash out their thoughts. Gone are the days where TV strictly reports the facts. Even comedians, entertainers, late night TV hosts, newspapers feel they must tell us how to think. We might ask ourselves what makes them qualified…..we should be asking ourselves what makes them qualified. We don’t get to answer back and tell them to stop. They just continue to bombard us.

Today’s message uses current examples of how a picture is framed. Despite what the news media reports unless you are a child trafficker, no one wants to see children hurt in any way. Indeed, most of us become incensed when we see it. Thus we have the outrage we see all over the news. But lets take a step back and look at how it is framed and do some comparisons.

If you are a parent in the United States and you abandon you child or put it in danger in any way, the law will step in and you may very well lose custody of you children. For example, if you are poor and can not afford child care and need to go to work you may not leave your small  children alone. Perhaps you work at night, they are sleeping and you lock them in and do everything you can to make sure they are safe then you go work. Even with the best of intentions under dire conditions it is against the law to leave small children alone. We have all seen newscasts with stories of children left unattended at home or in a car. Think about how that scenario is framed and now think about how the immigration scenario is framed. The United States government and its agents are framed as the perpetrators and villains. There is little mention of the child endangerment their parents but them in getting them to the border or the abandonment of them into the hands of strangers.

How you feel about this is your….at least it should be….opinion alone. We are simply being asked to notice how the picture is framed and who is framing it.

Let me give you another example, one I have laughed about several times over the past couple of months. I will give you a short version. My doctor wants me to take a statin even though I have great cholesterol numbers and have never had a heart issue. Of course, I protested at which point to showed me the results of an extensive study. She plugged in all of my stats and showed me that without taking a statin, 14 out of 100 women will have a stroke or heart attack within 10 years. She clearly thinks this is a big number but I am thinking that my odds are looking really good at 86%. She then showed me that of women who did take the statin, the number dropped to 3 out of 100. My mind immediately went to the 3 versus 14 number and calculates that the risk dropped 78%. Now that is worth considering. Again, the point is how the picture is framed. The 86% seemed really good at my age but to a younger person like my daughter and my doctor it wasn’t. Yet when I calculated the 3 versus 14…framed the issue that way…I came up with a very different opinion than the 14 out of 100.

Yesterday in mindfulness we talked about how we create a movie in our mind based on experiences we have. That movie we created affects how we frame things. Therefore, it is important that we make sure the movie is accurate.

That is all we are being asked to do today. Make sure the movie we are playing is accurate. Make sure we are framing our own picture based on truth as best we can.

That is the HOPE. And so it is.

Bit by bit, piece by piece, HOPE by HOPE actions steps anyone can take…

-Affirm…“I am loved.”

-Meditate/pray…ask…”What is my next step for my highest good and the highest good of all?”

-Drink lots of water.

-Get outdoors and take in at least 10 deep breaths.

Frame your own picture.

What made me smile yesterday…

-An early morning walk on the treadmill.

-A mindfulness class.

-Bruce’s suits are picked up and his new shoes which he wore trying to break them in. It is horrible to have feet that hurt all of the time.

-Taco Tuesday in depot town with Pam.

-A nice visit with Yvonne and new paper for crafting cards.

Love, Blessings and Gratitude,

Rev. Chris


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