Bob Dylan Another senseless slaughter in a place dedicated to peace-a normal day in a church, a school, a university, or a museum is shattered by gunfire and screams.
Innocent victims, guilty only of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, are mourned by loved ones searching for nonexistent reasons.
I've been guilty of joining the paralysis of analysis that always follows such events.
No shortage of root causes and people to blame, and no scarcity of solutions.
We need more guns or fewer guns, more liberty or more government controls.
It's the fault of a particular political party or leader, the economy, some unseen conspiracy.
Simplistic explanations and prescriptions designed for the sound bite world cannot possibly address such complex, deeply rooted problems.
Talking heads boost ratings by spewing endlessly self-serving tirades, but we all know that the issues and any potential solutions demand something more significant.
Like I said, I'm too frequently guilty of filtering such tragedies through my own ideological filters and devising naively simple cause-and-effect scenarios that advance my own biases.
Complaining, worrying, and blaming create the illusion of involvement, concern, and expertise, but they're really, in the words of Ecclesiastes, "a chasing after the wind.
" In Dylan's paraphrase, "The answer is blowin' in the wind.
" I can't choose to turn away from tragedy, pretending that I just don't see.
I don't wish to embrace the impotence of blaming and complaining.
I can't have much impact on far-reaching, complicated social and political dynamics.
"But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you..
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
" (Luke 6) Focusing on overwhelming issues I can't possibly solve is really just an excuse for dodging personal responsibility.
By chasing after the wind, I avoid the simple, daily acts that build my personal character and enhance the lives of those I encounter.
Jesus never asked me to change the entire world.
His example was a simple one: love those you encounter along the way.
He changed the world one person at a time and instructed His disciples to follow His example.
That's still his guidance.
What's your personal way of chasing after the wind?