To rubberneck is to “look about or stare with exaggerated curiosity.” That’s what we do whenever we slow down to check out (and take photos of) an accident scene. And that’s why a car crash or even a minor fender-bender always becomes a bottleneck. And in a country of professional gossipers like ours, rubbernecking is a favorite pastime. We’re a nation of mga chismoso at mga Marites.
Why do we love surrendering our attention or focus on things that have no benefit to us? Case in point: Why do we like concentrating on stuff that scares us—or issues that distract us—instead of fixing our gaze straight ahead? Be honest: How much of your time is spent on things that will not improve your situation? In this pandemic, why expend your energy zooming in on information you have no control over? Why put the spotlight on news talk and social-media chatter every day?
In my Viber and Messenger groups, it’s funny how people frighten each other when it comes to the health crisis and the economy. They offer their human insight into what they feel will happen next. But the reality is that they are also clueless. Like ignorant observers that are driving by a crash site, they do not know what took place or what the conclusion will be. They just like to talk.
Aren’t you tired yet? Aren’t you sick of the fear that grips all of us? There’s a better way to deal with this: Change the focus of our attention.
Let me share a story from the Bible:
Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
The trick is to fix our sight on the Lord. Whether it’s a car accident or a pandemic, instead of focusing on news that only results in fearmongering, try to lock in on the true source of hope. Only God knows how all of this will end. Not your officemates, not your friends, not your relatives, not your favorite presidential candidate, and certainly not your neighborhood Marites.
Why don’t you pick up a Bible and read it today instead of stressing on repetitive and soul-sapping information? It works for me, and I want you to experience it, too.