[Wherein I write about Lent without really writing about Lent.]
In the French house, we are old school reality television junkies from way back. We watched the first season of Survivor and American Idol, and more recently we’ve found ourselves getting sucked into Undercover Boss, The Biggest Loser and Extreme Home Makeover.
While I understand the appeal of these shows, I wonder if they don’t contribute to the culture of wishful thinking that permeates American society. The idea that some television show will pluck you out of obscurity and fix the problems in your home, your waistline, and your career is understandably attractive.
But when it comes to the problems in your life, dreaming of rescue isn’t going to get you any closer to resolution.
I’m not discounting the role of providence and serendipity in personal transformation, here. In fact, quite the opposite. My experience as a veteran daydream believer and semi-professional damsel-in-distress has shown me that those daydreams and rescue fantasies actually distract you from recognizing the real opportunities for change that providence places right in front of you.
We live in a world that is permeated by a presence that wants to see you transformed into a being capable of extreme, radical love and compassion. Opportunities to fix the broken things in your life are literally everywhere. And the lengths that we go to in order to avoid seeing and being forced to respond to those opportunities border on the ridiculous.
I try to balance the personal transformation posts here between gentle encouragement and loving kicks in the pants. Today is a kick in the pants day.
Turn off the television. Stop fiddling with the stupid car stereo. Quit sniping about the fact that the restaurant messed up your order again.
Lift up your head. Look around. Look for something, while holding an open mind about what that something might be.
The view may take your breath away. I know it has for me on several occasions lately.