Wherever you turn, there's a negative story to relate and to regale in. Because we all love a bit of negativity. It is news. It sells papers. It makes great eye-catching breaking-news headlines.
Even in personal lives there is always a little negativity and misery which we can hold on to like a comfort blanket. A long standing illness perhaps. A marriage in difficulty. A dysfunctional family. A broken relationship.
Don't misunderstand me. I am not making light of peoples' personal difficulties, often serious; or of the state of the world these days.
I am pointing out how much misery and misfortune there exists on our planet right now. And I ask myself: Why?
Surely all the problems I have just mentioned have always been around. There has always been wars, famines and sickness and so on. Is there more of it right now; or does it seem that there is more because it is reported more often in the 24 hours news media we have created?
I guess that the miseries we are "enjoying" these days are no more or no different than those of previous generations. What I feel ... what I believe ... is different is the way we are reacting to those miseries.
The natural first instinct is to worry, panic perhaps, and be seriously concerned as to how they will affect us and our families and our loved ones. But then, after a while, and with more bad news on the horizon, we develop misery fatigue.
We cease to be shocked. We cease to be as concerned as before. We develop an immune response to bad news. We say, "as long as it does not affect me and mine then I'll not be bothered ..."
The miseries of today may not be different or more than the ones of yesteryear but we react differently ... because ... we have distanced ourselves from God.
Over the years, we have managed to exclude Him from every aspects of our lives. He is no longer central to our lives. He is no longer present in our personal life, in our families, in our marriages, our governments, our schools or public life or workplaces. There's a whole new generation growing up with little, if any, opportunity to know God.
In fact God is alien and unknown to many souls. More than ever before in the history of this world. Sure, people may have heard about Him; but that is the extent of the relationship. He is a distant acquaintance perhaps, Someone they heard about and care even less.
We have excluded God from our lives and He, being a gentleman, has let us go.
It's reminiscent of the story in the Gospel of John Chapter 6 where Jesus says He is "the Bread of life" and later when He says that unless people eat His flesh or drink His blood they will not have life.
This upset some of His listeners and they decided not to follow Jesus any more. And He let them go.
Today, we are doing the same. Many have decided to distance themselves from God and He let them go.
He said, "OK ... let your will be done ..."
That's why, I believe, there seems to be more misery these days, and why their effects are more pronounced and more serious.