What we focus on expands and grows and any emotion attached to it increases and intensifies. It’s easy to overload ourselves with negative input by what we notice around us, by what we watch, what we listen to and by what we read.
It’s not a question of burying our heads in the sand. It’s good to be aware of the challenges in society and the world. But also to check the balance occasionally by asking the question, “Why am I watching/reading/listening to this?”
We’ve just received the Countryfile calendar for 2024. Like the 2023 calendar it has wonderful wildlife pictures chosen from hundreds sent in by ordinary people. Like the programme itself, it rejoices in our beautiful countryside. Profits from the sale of it go towards the BBC Children in Need Appeal – £26 million has been raised by the calendar since 1998.
Like the Children in Need Appeal – which last year helped nearly 460,000 children and young people to overcome the challenges of poverty, family crisis, bereavement and injustice – Countryfile and the calendar are examples of the light shining in the darkness.
Isn’t that what Advent is about? Encouraging us to look forward to the light coming into the world and encouraging each of us to shine our light in the darkness.