Monday, June 18, 2007

Channel Surfing

Though I talk about it a lot, I actually don’t get to watch a lot of TV. Once in a blue moon I will sit down and flip through the channels and in some weird twist of fate, the same show is always on. Do you know what I mean? For me, that show is Celebrity Fit Club. I’ve only seen about three episodes this year, but when the remote finds it, I can’t seem to look away.

This show has it all—drama, people who hate exercise having to sweat it out (I so relate), fierce competition and teamwork, an interesting panel of advisors, and a cast of “where are they now?” type of celebrities.

This season has been especially…um, interesting. Dustin Diamond, aka Screech from Saved by the Bell, had some weight to lose, but decided he would go on the show to prove one could eat whatever they wanted and still lose weight. And this was just his first mistake.

I will spare you all the details, but this guy, who has had many personal trials involving career and money, made enemies at every turn. He was a world class jerk to every person and refused to do anything but insult people and shoot arrows in their weakest spots. Three different times show members (including one with a military background who has biceps bigger than my head) had to be restrained to keep from tearing into Dustin Diamond. But as one angry contestant said, “He’s a miserable person—miserable with his own life.”

As I sat there watching, I thought, most of them don’t get it. Only one person saw that it wasn’t just a personality flaw of ‘ol Screech’s. This guy must be so unhappy. What’s it like to wake up every morning and not like the person in the mirror? What’s it like to bring others down in the cruelest of ways just so they can feel as terrible as you? This guy didn’t need his tail kicked—he needed some prayer and some friends.

But then I thought—how easy for me to say that from my nice spot on the couch. What about in my own life? In yours? Who do you know in your school, your church, among your acquaintances who acts a little like this? Know anyone who gossips constantly about others? Know anyone who builds themselves up by shooting others down? Maybe it’s the kid at school who’s always ready with harsh words or ready to fight. Maybe it’s the teacher who never has anything positive to say. Maybe it’s the person at church who has a complaint about everything.

As a teacher, I have seen thousands of kids come and go. And I have never known a darker time than now where there is such hurt. The kind of hurt that you carry with you daily is the kind that Satan LOVES to use. It makes us say things we shouldn’t, do things we know are bad, and strike out in ways that target others.

I challenge you—all of us—today to take some time and pray. Pray for that one person who pops into your mind—maybe it’s that person who always snarls at you or is rarely kind. Then pray for yourself. Ask God to show you what pain you need to let go of—for your sake and for others. Our lives may not be broadcast on VH1, but believe me—people are watching.

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