Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Bachelor

July 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

Let me confess something to you – I’ve watched almost every season of The Bachelor. I hear your groans of disappointment – or perhaps, quiet celebration that you are not alone in your secret Bachelor-obsession.

It all started because my husband worked on Monday evenings. And then when he didn’t, watching crazy reality TV with a mental health professional is pretty interesting – so he joined me in the weekly ritual of wondering how that many grown adults can simultaneously lose all sense of sanity and boundaries. It’s like driving by a really terrible accident when you just simply cannot avert your eyes.

A few months ago I admitted my Bachelor habit to my Bible study. And then I felt completely justified in the hours I have spent with our pal Chris Harrison because it turned into a memorable illustration. At least, it was a memorable illustration for me. 🙂

My hypothesis is this: every season, the producers of reality drama stack their shows with a few people who legitimately are already teetering on the edge of their own reality, just to spice things up. The rest of the typically sane and balanced people get sucked into unbelievable amounts of drama and warped views of reality simply because they are isolated from all outside influence. No interactions with family or friends, no work to do, no media, no time and space and quiet to allow their minds to think sane thoughts. They are surrounded by people who are equally isolated from their normally balancing influences of meaningful work and relationships, put into completely unrealistic situations, and they all begin to convince themselves that they should fall in love with the same man everyone else is falling in love with – because if you don’t, you’re actually a failure and a fake in the world of The Bachelor.

The one “truism” (perhaps better named a “falsism?”) that is clung to, time and time again in every season, is this: “follow your heart.” The thing is, that doesn’t work out so well. Ever. “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” – Jeremiah 17:9

Welcome to crazy town.

My light-bulb moment with The Bachelor was this – what if we are more like those women sauntering into The Bachelor mansion than we realize? What if we can become so consumed with our daily reality – be it laundry, social media, toddler tantrums, household annoyances, stressful relationships, work demands, etc. – that we lose all sight of the larger Reality? We become so consumed with the mundane and temporal that we are unreasonable, irrational, overly dramatic, and dangerously close to making terrible life-altering decisions? We are surrounded by others who are equally enraptured with the shallow-now, who are constantly telling us what and who should be the recipient of our deep affection – and we are capable of losing touch with Reality all together.

I cannot simply follow my heart. My heart is deceitful and beyond cure. If I do what I am naturally inclined to do, or what feels right, or what appeals to me most, I will end up in a world of hurt. It will be me crying in crazy town. Maybe not on The Bachelor – but I’ve seen a lot of crying-in-crazy-town facebook status updates and tweets over the years. We all teeter on the edge of reality.

There really is only one solution – one way that we can jog our minds and hearts and souls back to what really matters. As we daily open up God’s Word, we discover the larger Reality. I find that while God is present in my daily life and invested in how I deal with my screaming preschooler or mountain of laundry, it matters only because of the bigger story He is telling in my life, in His church, in the world, and all across the pages of human history. His Word is the anchor that keeps me from drifting out into the dangerous ocean of my own selfish pride, my own fallen intuition, my own inclination to “follow my heart.” He is the only antidote for my natural inclination toward drama and memorable meltdowns.

Have you had your Reality check today?

 

Kristi Stephens is passionate about leading women into a deeper understanding of Scripture and a larger view of God. Trained as a Bible teacher at Cedarville University, over the past decade she has opened the Scriptures with teens and women of all ages in classrooms, retreats, Bible studies, and workshops. As a wife of ten years and mom of three little ones, Kristi juggles homemaking, homeschooling, writing, teaching, and serving as the women’s ministry director at their church. You can find more of Kristi’s writing at her blog, KristiStephens.com, or connect with her on facebook or on twitter.

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