November 14, 2008


Maybe you're a rare breed and you've somehow made it through the last 8-10 years without being sucked into the world of reality TV. If so, I congratulate you. Now, for the rest of us, here we sit. So many of us have been tossed aside into the ditch, we've sent in our applications, made our "I Love Jeff Probst" videos, sent in our sob story about why we would be the best candidate...blah blah blah. And all most of us have to show for it is that we've discovered something: call it what you want, it is ANYTHING but reality!

That being said - yes, we've all figured out that Big Brother stands for Big Load of Crap - as I sat and watched my own personal reality TV guilty pleasure tonight I came to a realization. While these shows - all 384 of them - create scenarios, environments, and civilizations that are totally unreal, they do accurately and honestly reveal one thing: the human condition.

By no means do I expect to be stranded with 17 other people on the continent of Africa, only to stumble upon a nice straw hut, a bag of rice, and a team flag, all conveniently located beside the river where there's an abandoned canoe. But what I do expect - every day of my life - is for my patience, pride, and compassion to be tested by the people that surround me. What I'm saying is, while these people on these shows may not be in realistic circumstances, their real life, stripped down, honest, dirty laundry gets thrown out of the hamper for the world to see. And for some of them, it can be a big shocker to see just how dirty things have become.

Arnold Palmer once said, "Golf doesn't develop reveals it." The same can be said about the character display (or lack thereof) that's often exposed on so-called reality TV. Why do I even care about all of this? Is it not just entertainment? Well, I guess. But I think it's our responsibility to attempt to see the redemptive quality in the things we're wasting (I mean spending) our time consuming. If you find no redemption - nothing to move you toward your Redeemer or toward living like Him - then I would argue that it's probably not worth your time.

My reality - I have 2 children. They test, expose & reveal my character every day. And I know that what they see will influence theirs. "I must decrease so that He can increase" - and I'm praying what Charlie Hall sings in his song "Thrill": "More of You and less of us God...." That's the reality I'm living for.

No comments: