I was thinking about the subtitle to this blog: counting it all joy. James 1 talks about counting our temptations as joy because the trying of our faith works patience. I decided to expand on that and try to find joy in any given situation.
Having said that, rest assured that I am looking for the joy, not that this world has to offer, but the Joy of the Lord. This emphasis is of utmost importance. And it has become increasingly so in the last few months.
Our ladies' Bible study has centered around Beth Moore's study of Daniel. I've mentioned numerous times the eye-opening nature of this study. Most recently we've been discussing the pervasive mentality of the Babylon in Daniel's day and the Babylon spoken of in Revelation and how this same mentality is present in today's American society. Basically: It's all about me. Or more Biblically stated: "I am and there is none beside me." The similarities are unnerving.
(I promise, I am getting to the point. Hang in here with me.)
I have a confession to make: I enjoy reality tv. And I am not alone. The millions of call in votes for popular shows proves this point week after week. But some shows focus on and/or generate "drama," in order to increase viewer-ship loyalty. I realize this is not news to any of you.
My point is that we as a society are mesmerized by and thrive on the absurdities, flaws, embarrassment and pain of others. My laughing at the discomfort of another shows that I am focused on me (I am) and have disregarded the other person (and there is none beside me). How sad is that? And yet it is enticing. It's downright difficult to not turn on the tv and come across someone willing to make a disgrace of themselves just to have their 15 minutes. Or someone setup to have their more unsavory characteristics on display.
(Here's where I step on toes. You are welcome to leave a rebuttal comment)
I cannot watch American Idol in the early weeks of each season b/c it's so painful to watch people step into the audition room only to be made fun of. You can argue that they take that chance when they decide to stand in line to audition. Certainly that is the case.
Last night I watched the premier of The Bachelor. I should have known that I would have watcher's remorse afterward. All those women making fools of themselves was heartbreaking and agonizing to sit through. And yet, sit and watch the train wreck, I did.
Now, please, don't misunderstand, dear reader, there is a place for entertainment. And the two shows I mentioned are some of the least of the offenders. (Think of the show COPS and Intervention.) I am not condemning all reality tv. And I know I can walk out of the room at any point. It's just that my eyes have been opened to how we as a society are finding enjoyment in the pain of others. And when you take away the laugh track, what passes for entertainment, is scary.
How far will we allow the pendulum to swing?
Lord help me to find my joy from you and not the pain of others.