The average European is better informed than ever in history! Really?
It is true that the average European gets more news, more information than ever. There are more channels of information. And I note that these channels produce an ever-increasing avalanche of 24/7 information.
The Dutch professor Beatrice de Graaf in her video interview for the EEA General Assembly in Bad Blankenburg noted that the instant news stream from around the globe, often with negative news, is a source for insecurity and worries. It leaves people feeling powerless and very fragile. So, they are overwhelmed and never get out of crisis mode.
The title of this editorial is “Well and informed”. I believe information should not leave us in an overwhelmed, feeling powerless and worrying state. It should leave us well and informed.
Beatrice de Graaf claimed that security has two aspects to it. One is the people in charge around me taking the necessary steps to keep me and society safe. The other is the certainty that, in the midst of crisis, I am cared for by God and I therefore know that He will bring evil to an end.
To be well and informed requires the same two components. I need the information material to be informed. But, without the certainty that there is someone who cares for me in the midst of all these overwhelming news and crisis, I cannot be well.
How do I know that I am cared for and that all these issues on the news are in good hands? That’s where prayer comes into play. As Christians we are called to constantly bring everything in intercession and thanksgiving to God, being constantly in a conversation with God.
And here I really start to worry. I suspect that most Christians stop where everybody else stops: with the news. Why do I suspect that? We have in our local church the possibility during the service to write prayer requests on pink cards. They are collected and many of these requests are being prayed for from the front during the petition time. Hardly ever more than two cards handed in are prayer request which address an issue which goes beyond the local parish border. One is usually from me.
This leaves me puzzled. I know that church members have televisions and many more channels where they consume world news and yet they do not seem to make these into prayer requests.
And this leaves me with some homework:
Stay well and informed myself, getting information and turning it into prayer
Draw the line and not let the information avalanche overwhelm me
Encourage others to get informed AND well according to these lines
Adding many more good-news stories to the information flow. News which raise hope instead of insecurity. I hope this happens through this newsletter.
Hoping that I have encouraged you to be and become well and informed