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Published on January 19, 2021

Chasing the Creator

If you don’t have anything nice to say, just keep quiet

By Shirley Prihoda
The Bulletin

We live in the most communicated society since the garden.

The fact that I have uncovered this truly astounding fact certainly means the highly touted “Think Tank, Manhattan Institute for Policy Research” will be knocking on my door at any moment. With pen and paper in hand, they will want to thoroughly document my discovery.

Being the “Think Tank,” their first question will be, “what mathematical equation was used to determine the validity of the findings?”

It’s quite simple, actually. In The Garden, there were only two people. Well, three when the Father came calling, and now we have social media!

As the most communicated society since the beginning of time, how can we also be the most isolated?

Why are more people, Christian and non-Christian alike, making doctor’s appointments at such an alarming rate?

Why are people consuming medication for depression, and pain killers at such a voluminous rate, that state medical boards have stepped in to monitor the writing of these prescriptions?

My profession prior to receiving the label of “retired,” was in hospital administration. This position offered a prime overview from the hospital’s financial perspective of meeting the healthcare needs of the insured and the uninsured. That was just one side of the coin.

The other was the doctor’s challenge to meet the health and financial needs of 80% of their patient visits related to increasing stress levels. However, viewing posts on social media sites certainly seems a contradiction to that fact. Social Media pages are covered with seemingly headline worthy news about all things new, travels, and events, all with accompanying happy photos. All looks well, that is, until you get to the comments section. It’s here you quickly see the pain and loneliness on both sides of what is commonly called “The Wall.”

The term “wall” is actually a descriptive title since some of the comments are unbelievable. Unbelievable in that anyone would build a wall and close people in by writing rude and uncaring comments. One recent example was, “she’s such a helicopter mom!” Really? Have you ever actually seen a helicopter mom? Do her arms spin around and make whop whop sounds? I’ve read something before about hovering: Genesis 1:2 “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Seems like that makes the Father the ultimate Helicopter Dad!

One of the all-time low-hitter posts are events where someone is excluded, and the host boasts about it on their wall - with pictures no less!

What part of “love does not parade itself, is not puffed up” doesn’t apply to social media? If you were brought up right, as my mama would say, you don’t talk about a party in front of people who were not invited. To do so is mean and truly unkind. Being brought up right apparently does not apply when it comes to social media sites. Who knew?

Do some commentators see themelves as the sheriff of the town and as the sole authority on childrearing, fashion, and economics? They obviously feel they have a duty to comment.

If that’s the case, certainly they are bound by law to clearly state, “What was she thinking when she put that shirt with those pants! Or they can’t even afford the house or car they have, and they bought a new one!” Upon further consideration, maybe we need to first determine if this social media sheriff was elected, self-appointed, or arrived there by coup?

When they raised their right hand to be sworn in, was I Corinthians 13 covered in the ceremony? Was the part omitted which said, “does not behave rudely; love does not envy, does not seek its own.”

It’s no wonder the doctor’s offices are full and that our world has become a wall-fortified city full of lonely people? When will we realize what we are doing isn’t working, and that I Corinthians is actually the manual for healthy living?

Just because we know something, or think we do, doesn’t mean there is a need to say it.

My 16-year-old granddaughter, Bailee, was recently faced with an opportunity to put this into practice.

Bailee and I have always shared a fascination with the ill-fated, first and only voyage of the Titanic. While vacationing in Branson, Missouri, with her high school friend’s family, she realized a long-awaited wish to visit the Titanic exhibit.

The tour guide was lecturing on the voyage and got several facts wrong. My granddaughter knew she was wrong but chose not to say anything. Had she called the guide out, who do you think would have looked as if they lacked proper learnin,’ to quote my mama?
She knew it was more important to save face for the tour guide than prove she was more knowledgeable. Social Media, like most technology, can be used to comfort and encourage or to destroy. For sure, it is a revealing tool that reveals the heart of the person.

My maternal grandfather made the best stewed potatoes. He left this world before cooking became a passion, and this recipe is the closest I can get to his.

Stewed Potatoes
1 Medium Onion, minced
3 Tablespoons Butter
2 Cups Potatoes, diced
1 ½ Cups Boiling Water
Salt & Black Pepper
2 Teaspoons All-purpose Flour
¼ Cup Cold Water
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Sauté the onions slowly until clear. Add the potatoes, boiling water and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cover. Cook for about 15 minutes.
Mix the cold water and flour to make a slurry. Slowly add the slurry to the potatoes, stirring constantly. Cook slowly for 10 minutes. Serve with hot buttered cornbread.

(To contact Shirley, please send emails to john.bulletin@gmail.com or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, Tx. 77516)