Friday, August 8, 2014

Of Fairy Tales and Fruit Loops

image used under Creative Commons license, courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org,
picture by Dobre Cezar
Every once in awhile we get to have one of those "Aha!" moments.  In this case, seeing another of the devil's workings clearly.  I'm not sure about anyone else, but I've often wondered how our entertainment stars can come to some of the conclusions they do.  And make moral decisions they do.

The picture to the left is a fairy tale castle.  And it's the key to the mass deception that Satan pulls on an unsuspecting public.  It also shows off how he does it.

1 Timothy 4:7 (KJV)  But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

Timothy received that warning from the apostle Paul, both as a leader and as a believer.  Don't live in worldly thinking and don't listen to fairy tales.  Let's try another verse.

1 Corinthians 13:11 (KJV)  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

When we're children, we have a limited perspective, based on our understanding, which is also limited.  And that perspective can be founded on pure fantasy.  Thinking back to my own childhood, that kind of fantasy can be positive.  I was physically challenged, spending many summers with casts on my legs.  So, I wasn't able to do a lot of things other kids did.  And that hour, here or there, becoming a detective or a superhero or a prince, rescuing the damsel in distress, was respite from the reality of my handicap.  But there was always a return to reality.  And that's good.  It creates a balance.  

It's OK to escape periodically, but we can't permanently absent ourselves from reality without distorting our thinking.  Just look at the mental institutions or Hollywood.  In the hospitals, where people are diagnosed with a variety of mental and psychological issues, the deviation from normalcy is recognized, labeled, and treated.  Whether that's always done correctly or from the right perspective is a discussion for another time.

I mentioned Hollywood.  Think about the path to "stardom".  And that includes entertainment, sports, modelling, acting, etc.  We see children growing up much like you and I did, with a mix of fantasy and real life.  But the fantasy takes on a greater than usual importance.  And a need grows to perform the fantasy in front of others.  They may get some training.  Perhaps there's semi-pro sports or local theater.  Then, on to movies, TV, a recording contract, whatever.


image used under Creative Commons license, 
courtesy of en.wikipedia.org, picture by Biswarup Ganguly
The focus narrows.  Like the picture of the cupped hands, to the right, the focus becomes what's within that limited space. It stays on the life within, real or fantasy. The more that someone identifies with what they do, the more self grows in importance.  Because it leaves no room for grace and mercy.  And it crowds God out, because self doesn't allow any competition.

Having said that, picture a talented actor or recording artist who has grown up as we described.  Or a star athlete. Whether they felt a need for validation or not, when growing up, their fantasy life got a lot of attention.  That kind of attention can become addictive.  Fast forward to them attaining some professional level and the saga continues.

An actor or actress gets paid for getting us to believe that make believe is real.  If they're good, they make exorbitant amounts of money at it.  Which gets them massive homes with large amounts of property, body guards to stave off paparazzi and crazies, all requiring a house staff to deal with it all. Add to that all the variations of awards and red carpet events, where clothing can cost as much as several month's wages for a minimum wage worker.  And the stars are treated like royalty.  What we have is people who work in a fantasy world, that now also live in a fantasy world.  There's no escape.  

While there appears to be a separation between fantasy and the rest of life, that's really disappearing.  The fact that a small segment of society throws money at them for things that would have little value in the rest of society has created the illusion that this qualifies all their ideas that get routed through their privileged life.  The experience that's supposed to support those opinions is filtered through self, with no room for God or reality.

What we see, with that kind of focus, is pregnancy before the wedding being labeled a "trend", marriage becomes serial monogamy instead of a commitment, life is so good that it gets drowned in a sea of drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity.  Often to the point of ending lives far too young.

We mentioned the public.  There's a parallel problem, because there's a dissatisfaction with life "as is".  There's no sense of excitement to their lives and no desire to change that on their own.  So, they sublimate with daytime shows like Maury and soap operas and entertainment programs that almost seem to idolize the bad behavior and thinking of the stars.  Second hand excitement, based on the lowest common denominator, and still focused on self.

That sounds pretty dire.  But there's a solution.  If you've noticed that some of the stars have a different, more satisfying outlook, you're right.  When we examine why, we see a few of things.  They have found a way to separate the fantasy work from their lives, spending only enough time in fantasy mode to do their jobs.  There's also some spiritual spiritual component in their lives.  Whether that spirituality is right or wrong, they've removed themselves from being the focal point of their lives.

When Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness", it gives us the answer.  Experiencing the presence of God removes the boredom, it takes away any sense of meaningless self indulgence, and it draws people into real meaning.  The "and all these things shall be added unto you." part gives the result.  We gain a contentment with having our needs met instead of wanting our emotions tickled.  And, if God blesses us further, we can truly enjoy and appreciate it.  

If you're reading this, it's likely you're on one of two sides of the same fence.  You might be seeking the peace and stability that only God can give.  I can tell you there's a whole new excitement in life where the downs never get as far down as they used to and the ups go higher than you've ever seen before.  But not in a way where the focus is on the thrill.  There's the all encompassing love of God. Find a good pastor and let him show you what you can have by saying "yes" to a relationship with God.  

You may be on the other side of that fence.  You have a relationship, maybe good, maybe not sure what's going on.  It's time for us to shift our focus from our own experience and obey Mark 16:15 (KJV), "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.". Our part of the world might be only as far as the person next door.  Or it might be around the world. But when our focus obediently is on what God wants instead of ourselves, the fun really begins.  So, "Go!".  That's how we stop being fruit loops and get rid of the fairy tales.  Where's your focus, today?

No comments:

Post a Comment