A group of mommies stood around chatting, impatiently waiting for our sons to wrap up baseball practice as we shivered in the twilight. A little girl prancing around her mom’s feet found an unconventional treasure…a hole in the grass that was about a foot and a half deep and a foot wide. It was the type of hole that was perfectly deceptive because it wasn’t big enough for a body to fall in but just the right size to miss, step in and twist an ankle. The tiny girl stood at the very edge peering into the hole. She was transfixed and couldn’t take her eyes off it.
Her mother suggested she stay away from the hole. So the little girl backed up but kept her gaze steady on it. As her mom returned to yapping with her friends, I saw the little girl back up and start running towards the hole. With a great leap she jumped over it and laughed in delight. Her mother watched in chagrin as over and over she ran to the hole and launched her little body over it. The little girl thought she had discovered a loophole; she could obey her mom and yet still be near the dangerous hole.
I chuckled to myself as I watched her, then picked up my son and headed home. But, the image of the child continued to play in my mind long after I left the baseball field.
And then I it hit me, all too often I am the little girl who pranced around the hole, maybe not falling in per se, but delicately dancing around the temptation.
My husband recently cut back on some of our satellite cable channels to save a few bucks each month (strangely enough ESPN was not one of them). But a few of my favorite channels have been axed-Bravo, WE and the E Channel. All my favorite dishy shows, Tori and Dean, The Real Housewives and E News Daily have disappeared into the land of non-subscriber channel land.
When I scroll through the viewer bar, I can even see what I am missing. It’s there, but I can’t access it. Painful! My vicarious addiction to reality TV viewing has been interrupted and I am truly bummed out. Even though I know I should be rejoicing in cutting off my hand that sins (or eyes in this case), my spirit is reluctant and indignant.
I am always surprised at this constant tension of fleshly desires and faith battling in my inner psyche: One moment I am convicted and the next the princess of justification. I tell myself it’s important to understand culture, while secretly knowing the lives of celebrities offer nothing of value for me to emulate.
I empathize with Tori Spelling, a working mom just like me, and look for any redeeming characteristic in the show to somehow make it alright. Of course the one and only time I got my pastor husband to watch the program with me; Tori invited a witch doctor over to do a spiritual cleansing involving a mud bath and Tori in a bikini. That didn’t go over so well.
Despite the best of intentions, and my sincere desire to always do the right thing, I am still prone to obsessing on the tantalizing holes in my life. And even though I might not succumb to the temptation, my thoughts wage an internal battle untill I submit to the Spirit. Like Paul said, I do what I don’t want to do. And sometimes, if it’s an itty-bitty thing (like Tori and Dean), I simply do the bad thing and make excuses.
So, I am both happy and sad I can no longer watch Kimora, Tori and Tamara, I will miss my glitzy and superficial friends. But I am also strangely excited to relinquish my little vice and find shows more honoring to God.
And maybe, just maybe, I can find some shows that are a little more Holy than hole-y.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. (1 Cor. 10:13 NIV)