Friday, September 23, 2005

survivor, apprentice or disciple?

On Wednesday night the first episode of Apprentice Martha Stewart ran. Then last night I caught the end of Survivor (episode 2, I think) which was followed by Donald Trump’s Apprentice.

Now I don’t watch much TV. But last year I got hooked on Apprentice. And before I knew it, I was going from catching the last 10 minutes or so of Survivor that ran just before The Apprentice, to sitting down at 8 for the whole thing.

So on Wednesday I blocked off an hour for TV to watch Martha Stewart get into the hiring game. Then last night we got home from choir practice in time to see who got cast out from the tribe in Guatemala before getting introduced to the new crop of ambitious, driven, sometimes unscrupulous and always gorgeous apprentice hopefuls. Somehow after that I just sat there mesmerized through a whole Without A Trace episode as well!

This morning in my quiet time, I sense a difference. Something has happened to my relationship with Jesus. It’s as if a dullness has come in, a numbness, a distance, almost like my spirit is wearing gloves. And I realize, this fall maybe I’m not supposed to get sucked into these backroom dramas, these cut-throat whispering sessions, this self-serving behavior.

Though there is something in me that loves being a voyeur of these high energy young women and men perform under pressure in the variety of tasks they’re given – with all the attendant personality clashes, pettinesses, jealousies and self-promotion – in another place I realize this is not nutritious Christian fare. What happens on these shows sounds a lot like the "works of the flesh" list from Galatians 5: "... hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissension..." By watching them, I realize I may well be feeding that part of me I’m trying to starve in the rest of my life.

And then there’s the time spent. Somehow lately I have this sense of time being short, that my allotted time is quickly running out. God knows I’ve already wasted plenty of time in my life. In fact, even when I’ve had a busy day, I often come to the end of it and feel I could have used my time better.

But the feeling I get about spending all that time in front of the TV in the last two days is different even than that. It’s a definite check in my spirit. A feeling of a child being curbed or reined in by a parent – ever so gently, mind, with something as subtle as a pointed glance, but reined in nonetheless.

I want nothing more on earth than to "...do those good works which God predestined, planned beforehand for me, taking paths which He prepared ahead of time, living the good life which He prepared and made ready for me to live" (Ephesians 2:10 Amp). Somehow I don’t think the 2005 fall season of Survivor or Apprentice is a part of that.

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