Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Show Continues

I love talking about my shows with anyone who'll listen. It's like, "Hi, I'm Molly. What are your shows? Elementary? The Middle? Mentalist? Duck Dynasty? Love It or List It?" And things can get a little awkward if they say, "Yeah well, about that...I'm not really into any." (Not one single show? Who are these people?)

But this time of year gets a little sad as my shows soon take a break for the summer. (See One 'Heck' of a Show.) Guess it's time to load up the ol' Kindle with some good reads. Or maybe just stick to T.V. and finally jump on the Homeland bandwagon. But first I should jump on the Netflix bandwagon. Or maybe even Walking Dead. But zombies aren't my favorite.

Another show I've never gotten into is House. A friend at the gym raves about it, but not without warning me that the main character is an atheist. I thought, "What a weird warning to give someone."

But what should a person with my world view say when being warned this way? That Jesus hung out with atheists? That it takes more faith to not believe in God than to believe in God?

But instead I casually said, "Oh now, stop. It wouldn't bother me. But I do wonder how many true atheists are out there. I'm guessing not too many." And I'll never forget what she said to me, "Not sure, but I think we're all just schmear."

Schmear? As in a bagel topping at a bagel shop? Like, maybe she thinks we're all earth splatter with no real design or purpose for our existence? But I get. It's hard to see the forest for the trees sometimes. Heck, I've even felt like schmear before.

So I stood up tall, gave her a little back rub, and lightheartedly said, "Look, I know you might feel like schmear. But you are not cream cheese and the earth is not a bagel. You were created by God. Loved by God. And that's that." (How'd that sound? Did I do good? Still unsure about it.)

Now where was I? Ah yes, my shows. So I got all excited at church today when the guest speaker, Frances Chan, talked about 24 with Kiefer Sutherland. It's an oldie but a goody. And now you can easily watch one episode right after the other.

And that's what Frances Chan did when a friend gave him season two on video. But there was one episode where Jack Bauer's survival seemed impossible. He thought to himself, "Jack Bauer can't go in there - too many bad guys!" But then it struck him, "Of course he can go in there. Of course he'll survive. I'm watching season two while everyone else is watching season three. His life does continue!"

And that's what I wish I could tell my friend. No matter what happens in this life - although it seems impossible - there's a season three! Even if you're tied to a chair and there's no escape, rescue is coming! You've got a knife hidden up your, I've got a God who's preparing an eternal home for you when you put your trust in him and your hope in heaven. So no matter how dire your situation, it's not the end of your show. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Humble Pie

Sometimes I think I'm something else. A true miracle. A gift to the world. But such self-assurance is usually followed by a professional blow dry. I feel like a model every time. I turn heads. I become magical.

But then something happens to break the spell. I take a shower and turn back into a pumpkin...despite every effort to replicate my once sleek and chic look. Where did that fabulous woman go? She looked like a million bucks! 

And not too long ago, I noticed this guy at Target staring at me. It must have been one of my magical hair days, because I assumed he thought I was something else. And as he began to walk toward me, I thought, "Play it cool, Molly. When he says something nice, just say 'thank you' and move on."

Only he didn't say something nice. Or mean. Or even creepy. He just said, "You look really familiar." But I wasn't prepared for that. What to say? Well, since I had already rehearsed "thank you" in my mind, that's what I went with - only it was a shy, squeaky "thanks" while doing a cute little double shoulder shrug.

What am stuff? And not only that, but every so often I feel smart-ish. Or more insightful than smart. Intuitive maybe. But then something happens - again - to put me in my place.

I was setting up for my Tuesday's strength class a few weeks back, when a class member came to me and said, "You know, Molly, you said something the other day that really stuck." My eyes opened real big,  "I did? I said something that stuck?"

And I wondered, what amazing things did I say to this woman? Life changing words of wisdom? My thoughts on world peace? My deep insight on Downton Abbey? (The season had just ended.)

Then she continued, "You once said that you can't tighten the laces of one shoe without tightening the other. And ever since you said that, I do it every time!"

Ohhh. But of course. Shoe laces. The world hinges on shoe laces.

I know I'm not alone in this. We all get a little humbled from time to time, right? It even happens to celebrities, unbeknownst to them, who find themselves eating at the same restaurant as my husband.

So I get a text, "Hey, guess who's eating at the table next to me. Colin Farrell. And he's with a bunch of his friends." Turns out one of his friends was Bono. Only my husband didn't realize it at the time. But later on, when a friend took a closer look at a pic they took, there he was on the left:

Perhaps it's hard to tell. But I asked him, "Honey, how could you NOT know it was Bono?" And he said, "I just thought it was some old guy wearing red-tinted glasses, trying to be cool because he's hanging out with Colin Farrell."

I'm still not sure who was brought down a notch - Bono or my husband for not knowing about these things.

Ah, the lessons we learn. James 4:6 says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." And since grace is my most favorite thing in all the land, I'll trade flipping my hair for the world's amazement for God's grace any time, any day.

As for my dizzying intellect, I heard it said (this is a good one) that people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care. So if that means helping people achieve the wonderful feeling of equally-tightened tennies, then I'm off to a good start.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Car Time Convos

The car is the perfect venue for forced family time. And much to my children's dismay, there's no escaping the sound-proof walls of our old Chevy Tahoe. (Sound proof is what I'm hoping for, at least.) It's a place where we comfortably fight and sing and have these things called conversations.

But when I've got the attention of my three kids all at once, I have to watch it or else I run the risk of multi-tasking my talking points. And that can bad. Bad. Because horrible and wretched is the day I discuss - simultaneously in front of my 9, 13, and 16 year olds - how babies are made, the importance of deodorant on a daily basis, and the top three reasons why I think the new SnapChat-picture-texting thing can get real inappropriate real fast. All within the confines of my squeaky, Target-bound SUV.

Thankfully, most of our car time conversations are age appropriate. In fact, a recent one centered around the band, Switchfoot. As they played on the radio (mostly coming through the left-side speaker - the right one has been a little shoddy), I turned to my teenage daughter and said, "I really like the guitar work in this song."

She rolled her eyes and said, "Guitar work? That's not a thing, mom. You just say guitar. Not guitar work."

Hmm. Really? Because when I got home, I googled it. And FYI your information, daughter-o-mine, "guitar work" is a thing. But even better is to say "guitar riff." That's the correct terminology to use when someone is playing your jam.

Sigh. If only I knew my music - notes and keys and stuff. It would make me so cool. But for now, all I've got is "riff." Although I do remember once hearing about minor keys, and how they make music sound eerie and spooky and suspenseful. So I guess I know a little about that, too.

I recently heard something else interesting on the radio - only it was talk radio. This guy was going on about life, about how it's a struggle and there's pain and sadness and yuck. So would it be too much of a stretch to say that all of creation - in all it's misery - is being played in a minor key?

Even Faith Hill, who comes out with a new album this year (so I've heard), sang about it once:

Wars are raging, lives are scattered
Innocence is lost and hopes are shattered
The old are forgotten, the children are forsaken
In this world we're living in, is there anything sacred

Why yes, Miss Hill, you've got it right. There is something sacred - our faith. We are to hold onto it and not lose heart despite everything we see. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says that our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we are to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen - since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Now talk about age-appropriate, "if anything I ever say gets through to you," car time conversations! Any chance I get to encourage my kids to look beyond this temporary day and to hope in eternal, lasting things...I'll take it. That's something I can run with. Maybe even guitar run with. (More guitar lingo.)