So, I promise you this is NOT another post about it. I know, I know. All the *sniff* world-changing bloggers are throwing their verbal weight around on this issue. But not this
sipping coffee, strumming fingers on the table, staring into space while the children run amok with crumpled wrapping paper (squealing something about wrapping the baby up, and would she need airholes)...
OK, but here's the thing...
There's so much more to all of it. There's the stuff that truly concerns me. It's the stuff no one seems to be noticing. It's the same thing that happens every single time a strong opinion passes through the lips of a celebrity; Everyone begins jumping. And I'm not talking a friendly neighborhood game of hopscotch. We tend to fall into one or more categories: 1) Jumping ship, 2) Jumping the gun, and/or 3) Jumping on the bandwagon.
Early bird responders are notorious for jumping the gun. They are first on the scene and the first to roll the story off the press. The problem? Not nearly enough time has elapsed for all the facts to be on the table. So we'll just fill in the missing pieces. We call that...artistic license. Problem solved.* I call this fancy gossip. The truth is muddied by impressive embellishment.
Then come the ship-jumpers. In an effort to avoid associating with "A", they bail at the first sign of confrontation. The problem? They jump to "B" with very little forethought to potential consequences. From the frying pan to the fire they go, looking pleased as punch to have avoided that lil' landmine. The problem with perpetual ship-jumpers is this: Eventually your circle of safe ships will wane, becoming a "sink or swim" dilemma.
Lastly, we have our disturbingly ignorant bandwagon jumpers. Their information rests solely on the latest memes to grace social network sites. But this doesn't stop them from spewing strong opinions, parroting what so-and-so put as their latest Facebook status. It reminds me of 7 year-olds who shoot off at the mouth about the economy. Gee, I wonder where they got their sound-bytes. The problem? This comprises too great of a percentage of the population. Less thinking for themselves and more relying on someone, anyone to spoon-feed them their informational porridge.
We all have found ourselves in each of these categories. It happens. Don't believe me? Show me a timeline of your reactions to the Trayvon Martin tragedy. Quite a spectrum, I suspect. I rest my case. Sadly, hot-headed remarks and regrettably immature behavior are benchmarks of jumpers in every category.** If we want to be known as level-headed, discerning people, we've got to walk the walk. We cannot disingenuously dress the part. After all, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...it's a duck.
So, here's what I have to say to jumpers everywhere: Let's jump in with both feet. You read that correctly. Let's propel ourselves forward like nobody's business and land with firm footing on solid ground. Ground that is paved in cobblestones of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we shod our soles with Gospel-truth and our souls with Holy Spirit fruit, the jump is bound to have better results-perhaps indiscernible this side of Heaven, but better nonetheless.
Aaaaaand now I need to unwrap a baby,
*Dare I mention that artistic license has no place in news reports? Nah. I probably shouldn't go there.
**Jumping down your throat...too many "jumping" clichés? Mmmm?