Thursday, January 18, 2007

American Idol

I have lived in the south most of my life (six months in Lexington, Kentucky being my furthest venture north). I don't remember a winter weather system like this one. Freezing rain on Sunday and Monday, snow and sleet yesterday, and more in the forecast for tonight, Friday night, Saturday morning, and into Sunday. Brrrrrrrr.

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I like watching the first few episodes of "American Idol" each season, as the masses try out to be selected for the group that goes to Hollywood. Simon cracks me up much of the time. It does not bother me when he makes fun of the contestants' singing. I feel like they have opened themselves up to his criticism and ridicule by becoming contestants. I find it very hard to believe that some of them really think they are good.

But here's where I part company with Simon: When he makes fun of the way a person looks. I'm not talking about when someone has dressed goofy, etc. But a person can't help his/her size (to some degree), or the way their eyes look, etc. I think Simon has been cruel at times -- and it really makes him look bad.

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And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. --Matthew 14:23

Modern civilization is so complex as to make the devotional life all but impossible. It wears us out by multiplying distractions and beats us down by destroying our solitude, where otherwise we might drink and renew our strength before going out to face the world again.

"The thoughtful soul to solitude retires," said the poet of other and quieter times; but where is the solitude to which we can retire today? Science, which has provided men with certain material comforts, has robbed them of their souls by surrounding them with a world hostile to their existence. "Commune with your own heart upon your bed and be still" is a wise and healing counsel, but how can it be followed in this day of the newspaper, the telephone, the radio and the television? These modern playthings, like pet tiger cubs, have grown so large and dangerous that they threaten to devour us all. What was intended to be a blessing has become a positive curse. No spot is now safe from the world's intrusion. Of God and Men, 125.

Tozer was wrestling with this several years ago (his writings are from years past). How much more are we bombarded today! We have all the influences of which he speaks -- plus the internet, cell phones, blackberries,and a host of other 'playthings' seeking to devour us. May the Lord help us somehow to escape today and retire to solitude.

4 comments:

jross said...

Concerning the cold ... Florida is an alternative.
American Idol ... I think Simon was out of line. I also thought he was wrong in not giving that last guy a "yes" vote, even though the guy made it through.
Tozer ... good reminder!

Jeff said...

It is cold. I remember some very cold times in the late-80's when I lived in Ft. Worth. I thought I would freeze to death one year.

I haven't caught the AI bug yet. I watched 5 minutes last night and walked off.

Finding quiet time, time alone with God, is so very hard. I fail to make it a priority but try to fit it in with my schedule. How wrong of me. Tozer's comments are very good for me right now because this is something on my heart.

Josh Ross said...

Do we truly believe that God will work in silence and solitude? Do we really believe that something formative takes place?

May God increase our faith.

We enter into silence not just for the sake of our nourishment, but as ministers/pastors we enter into solitude for the sake of our churches, and as fathers/mothers/husbands/wives we enter for the sake of our families.

randy said...

It was worse in Oklahoma.

Perhaps it is possible to find inner solitude in the midst of chaos should we work it hard enough.