Tuesday, January 6, 2015

American Dream

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning?  They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him.   James 4:5 (NLT)
I was reminded the other night that American Idol is about to return to TV.
Chuck Swindoll, president at Dallas Theological Seminary has a wonderful little story in one of his books, which speaks volumes more than I could ever say about the mentality of such shows:

Maybe you heard about the guy who fell in love with an opera singer.  He hardly knew her, since his only view of the singer was through binoculars – from the third balcony.  But he was convinced he could live “happily ever after” married to a voice like that.  He scarcely noticed she was considerably older than he.  Nor did he care that she walked with a limp.  Her mezzo-soprano voice would take them through whatever might come. 
After a whirlwind romance and a hurry-up ceremony, they were off for their honeymoon together.
She began to prepare for their first night together.  As he watched, his chin dropped to his chest. 
She plucked out her glass eye and plopped it into a container on the nightstand.  She pulled off her wig, ripped off her false eyelashes, yanked out her dentures, unstrapped her artificial leg, and smiled at him as she slipped off her glasses that hid her hearing aid. 
Stunned and horrified, he gasped, For goodness sake, woman, sing, sing, SING! [1]
As the ancient saying goes, love is blind, which is obviously a warning that it pays to “look below the surface”.  It is a smart thing to understand what you’re doing before you do what you’re about to do; look before you leap!  In the case of the star-struck young man “in love” with his opera star, the American Dream became more of his personal nightmare.
We Americans have a love affair with fame and glitz.  We love to have our romantic ideals placed upon the stages of our otherwise boring lives.  Somehow, 60 minutes of tension, filled with “will she win; can he do it” is what does it for us.  We need all those videos, dramatic vocal and instrumental crashes, with sound bites and audience whoops to make our lives meaningful.  (All that AND a new “live or die” tattoo down at Jimmy’s Body Art and Bait Shoppe).
Now, don’t get me wrong altogether – I’m not against entertainment, music or someone who can really perform (I’m actually rather jealous of anyone who can carry a tune!).  It’s really just the lack of proportionality of it all.  There’s just something odd about placing second on American Idol, and, five minutes later you’re qualified to run for Congress.  (That’s strange even in North Carolina!)
I guess when it comes to hero-worship, my bar has been set pretty high.  You can find exactly what will impress me if you travel down the Via Dolorosa, away from Jerusalem, all the way to the hill that looks like a skull.
That’s my stage; and it’s more than an American Dream – that’s where my life begins.
For You Today:
Remember, I didn’t say you’re evil if you watch American Idol; I just said you’re settling for way less than is out there!

Go for the Jerusalem idol; you won’t be disappointed in Him!

[1] Strike the Original Match Zondervan, 1993

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