Beginning the Year in an...
"I Lucy" Society
I enjoy watching the old tv shows: This Gun for Hire, Kojak, Red Dwarf, Good Times, Columbo, Diff’rent Strokes, Perry Mason, The White Shadow, Little House on the Prairie, Bonanza, The Parent ‘Hood, Gunsmoke, What’s Happening, The Andy Griffith Show, etc… (Yes, I watch way too much Netflix and MeTV.) However, there is one program that I have to be in a particular mood to watch. As some would say, “I have to feel some type of way” to stomach the show. The show is the I Love Lucy Show. Remember? Husband and wife team of Desi Arnaz (Ricky Ricardo) and Lucille Ball (Lucy Ricardo) were the main characters? Their good friends and neighbors, Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz) and William Frawley (Fred Mertz) always accompanied them on their adventures.
Usually, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel were the butt of Lucy’s jokes and antics. However, I had one problem years ago when I watched it, and I have the same problem now. Lucy was a grown woman, and yet she did not have the discernment or discipline that should come along with age. She lied, although she called it joking. She stole, although she called it borrowing. She constantly did what she was forbidden to do, although she always had a reason for going against the rules. Lucy constantly put her desires above the rights and comfort of others. Furthermore, it being a comedic television show, she usually just whined, cried, or mugged her way out of every situation, when caught. The live studio audience clapped, and the show went off.
Even as a child I found Lucy’s way of dealing with life incomprehensible. I knew that if I did wrong there would be consequences, and I would not like them. Sometimes the consequence was drawing a disappointed look from my mother. (That look could bring a raging 800 pound Siberian tiger to a fetal position curling quietly at her feet.) Some times it was a spanking, or something I wanted denied. In any circumstance, consequences were a certainty. Because of that certainty, I thought twice about disobeying.
However, Lucy, a married woman, and later a mother, continued to disregard rules, regulations, and laws of our society that would have gotten any number of us arrested, institutionalized, or sectioned. Remember the episode she talked Ethel into helping her steal John Wayne’s footprints from Grauman’s Chinese Theater? Oh, boy!
No, I am not just using your time for a rant; after all, it is and was a TV show meant for entertainment. However, if you look around it really is not just a television story line or plot device. How many adults do you know that lie regularly?
Lie: I am too sick to go in to work. (Truth: I need to get my hair done.)
Lie: My head really hurts, so I can’t go to your parents’ house for Thanksgiving. (Truth: Your parents get on my nerves.)
Lie: I was not driving 75 mph in a residential district, Officer. (Truth: I was driving 80 mph in a residential district, until I saw you and slowed down, Officer.)
Lie: I can’t go to your friend’s party, because I have nothing to wear. (Truth: I don’t want to go to your friend’s party, because I don’t like her.)
We even have a president who believes it is alright to disparage anyone and anything, if it gets him what he wants. I have a feeling we will be saying even more: Mr. President, you got some ‘spaining to do.
Furthermore, our children are picking up our bad habits.
Lie: You didn’t tell us about the test, Teacher. (Truth: You didn’t just tell us about the test, Teacher. You put it on our calendar, your website, in the homework box, and on the agenda.)
Lie: I studied for the quiz. (Truth: I didn’t study for the quiz.)
Lie: I didn’t copy my friend’s homework and just place my name at the top. (Truth: I did copy my friend’s homework and just place my name at the top. )
Now, Christmas and New Year’s is a time to celebrate the birth of the one who came to make everything new. It is a time to rejoice in the many possibilities of life, and revel in the one who gives us everything we need to conquer our fears, and create that which never was!
However, how can we begin thinking about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ when we are living an I Love Lucy life? Jesus is all about truth. He is the way, the truth and the light. Jesus is all about sacrificing and following His Father’s instructions, although it brings discomfort. Father have you forgotten me? Not my will but your will.
Perhaps, that is the answer! Jesus is the total opposite of the insane and inane I Love Lucy premise. If we focus on the one who gives us breath to breathe we will not lose it telling lies. Then we can watch Lucy as a pleasing comedic diversion and not as an instructional tool for life. Then our society can stop being a chaotic, violence-filled, hopeless situation, but an organized, peace-filled, propitious way-station to eternal life.
I know this is not the usual beginning of the year message. However, these times demand something different. Concentrate on Jesus during Christmas, New Year’s and always. Only through His power, His grace, His love, will we be able to stand.
This is one perspective. What's yours? BBB-P 1/18