Pastor Larson’s Corner: Are you paying attention?

Pastor Larsons Corner

Recently I was visiting with a friend and I shared my concern about a mutual friend of ours who seemed to have a very negative attitude lately. He said, “Well Jerry, I guess if you aren’t a little bummed out these days, you just aren’t paying attention.” His response precipitated quite a conversation. It ended with us both thinking that our mutual friend was probably having a very normal reaction to the world as we currently know it.

So many horrific things happen on almost a daily basis that most of us are numb to it. We are experiencing sensory overload and it can have a devastating effect upon our psychological well-being. I recently watched a report on the refugees fleeing North Africa for Europe. They were willing to risk their lives to cross the Mediterranean in small boats and rafts. They believed that anything was better than remaining in their homeland. In an interview, one of the refuges said, “In our country no one loves anyone anymore.”

As people of faith we naturally wonder where God is in all of this. How can we trust in God when so many terrible things are happening all around the world? Even more importantly, what can we do to make things better both at home and abroad? How can we bring hope and peace into a world so conflicted?

Truthfully, we know that there remains much good in the world. If we pay more attention to the good things and rejoice in those things, perhaps we can see that we have much to live for. We know that God is good and desires for us to have full and abundant lives. Noticing and then sharing the good things around us in this life might very well help our little corner of the world get through a very difficult time.

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the May 22, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.