Up to the Minute

"... and love your neighbor as yourself." Mark 12:31

When my grandmother was a young girl, the black clouds of a bad fire rolled across their home town in West Virginia. Five days later they learned that Chicago had burned. It took five days to learn of the "Great Chicago Fire."

What a contrast to today's instant coverage of events around the world. The earthquake that struck California during baseball's Oakland-San Francisco World Series was viewed simultaneously from around the globe.

Today we are continually barraged with the latest news and up-to-the-minute instant coverage of events so that we can practically participate as spectators to holocausts and disasters wherever they occur, as they happen. Not long ago I heard there was even an hourly newspaper for people who needed the absolutely latest details on the timely matters of business and government.

Strangely enough, while we pride ourselves on staying up-to-the-minute on community and world events, we often become woefully out of touch with significant others in our lives. Doesn't it seem bizarre that we sometimes know more about today's events in South Africa or New York or Hollywood than what happened with our own children in school today? We hear endless analyses of the President's thoughts and actions while our own spouse's daily self-sacrifices are ignored or taken for granted.

Our relationship to the world we live in has been distorted by the capabilities of modern communications. Let's not lose sight of the importance of those around us. Our friends and families have needs that won't find coverage in the news, but which are no less real than the fires, hurricanes or floods taking place on the other side of the world.

Lord, help me to stay in touch with the needs of those around me so that I may better serve them.