Saturday, July 18, 2009

Most Trusted Dinner Guest in Our Home

Flipping through what passes for TV journalism today makes me long for those simpler times when our family gathered to watch Walter Cronkite every night. And, I mean every night. If mom's dinner was ready to hit the table at 5:30, we ate silently with that familiar soft baritone in the background. No hitting "pause" on the DVR, no catching the later re-broadcast on another cable network. And absolutely no thought of not watching. Today, we have the screaming vitriol of Bill O'Reily, the smug indignation of Keith Olbermann, the vapid non-presence of Katie Couric. Once, a few months ago, I got all nostalgic and decided I wanted our family to watch the evening news together like we did when I was a kid. Just 30 minutes of our time, and enough of a snippet of everything to feel informed. I went with Brian Williams on NBC because I think he's rather delightful. Long story short, my kids stretched and sighed and yawned and begged for dinner--even though we were having broccoli. Some things go out of style for a reason, and the ratings for network news evening broadcasts show them to be as popular as courdory shorts.

But I think that's because we have so much choice--so many distractions. A little something for everybody means that nobody rallies around anything. Cronkite was the voice for a nation in need of stability and comfort following the assassination of President Kennedy and the devastating mire of Vietnam.

He is, of course, remembered for his signature sign-off phrase: "And that's the way it is..." Like, you know what, America? This is what's happening, and there's not much we can do about it, and there's no reason for me to rant and blather on, so take it and go. I have to say, that's an attitude I'd love to see spilled all over the shiny sets of other "news" programs. It reminds me of one of my favorite "edgy" Bible verses:

The LORD does whatever pleases him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. [Psalm 135:6]

Because sometimes, when we get caught up in the why, why, why, why of the world, all you can do is step back and realize the sovereignty of God. Sometimes, that's the way it is.

...The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. [Psalm 93:1]

Some people might see this as fatalistic, but I choose to see it as faithalistic. How comforting it is to know that the world, as terrifying and terrible as it can be at times, is in the hands of a loving, just, righteous and sovereign God--one who loves me unconditionally and wishes only the best of blessings in my life.

That's the way He is.


  1. He was one of the great newsmen, the ones we have now seem to see everything as a joke, May God help us!!!!!!