One of the biggest stories in the media for the past week has been the Acadamy Awards, which were televised tonight. In fact, you would have to surmise that it was one of the most important things going on in our culture, based on the time devoted to it. I, however, did not watch the Oscars. Don't get me wrong: I wanted to, but we went over to our friends' house instead. These friends open their house on Sunday evenings to their friends and whoever, and we almost always go. I kind of thought they might have the Oscars on the TV--at least in the background. But, they didn't. If I had known I couldn't watch it, I might not have gone--it's hard to say in hindsight. In spite of not seeing it though, I'm glad I went.
I'm basically a very superficial person. I care way too much about sports, movies, celebrities, possessions, and other such things. Now, I think there are valid reasons to have an interest in sports and movies and the like. I'm also sure, though, that there are more important things than those. And there are especially more important things than a televised, lavish, self-congratulatory party for the Hollywood elite. Namely, people and relationships are more important. So, I'm glad I spent time participating in and building relationships, instead of watching TV. Not only did I have a better time with my friends than I would have had alone in front of the TV, but it was also an investment of time in something that will last. What's more, people actually give back to you, especially friends. They help you grow and change; they challenge you and encourage you; they are a means of God's grace for sanctification. No matter what fleeting enjoyment I might have had in watching the Oscars, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have contributed much to my sanctification.
I want to be careful here, so that you don't hear what I'm not saying. (That's a line that I and many others have stolen from Jack Collins, one of our professors at Covenant Seminary.) I'm not saying you are a bad person or made a bad choice if you decided to watch the Oscars. Nor am I saying I'm so great because I spent time with friends instead. The fact is: I wanted and planned to watch the Awards. I'm just reflecting a bit on the reality that I need more of what's really important in my life and less of what's less. Not that I need none of the less important--just less. Really what I need is a reformation of my priorities. I ought to be able to enjoy sports and the Oscars and find value in movies and whatever else, yet I need to be able to give them up easily when something more important comes along. I'm sure this kind of reformation will take the rest of my life. But, I pray for my wife's sake, and for my friends', and for mine, that I see progress all along the way.
boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.
"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."