July 17, 2008

Will You Accept this Rose?

It's no secret - I am a huge fan of ABC's The Bachelor and The Bachelorette! If I miss a Monday night episode, I am quick to log onto to the website to watch the episode online. You might wonder why I'm so addicted to this show...and the truth is, I have no idea! I am fully aware that, though it is called "reality" TV, it is nothing like reality. Even if you are one of the most beautiful and personable women in the world, or if you are the most attractive and accomplished man in the world, you will most likely never have the opportunity to date 25 men or women at a time.

The dates that take place on The Bachelor are far from reality too. Have you every watched the show? There are some AMAZING dates on that TV program. This season the Bachelorette took one of her dates to Frank Sinatra's home and they danced in his living room to, of course, Old Blue Eye's classics. I mean, WHO gets to do this kind of stuff in real life??

The other day, I was thinking about how so many "spiritual" experiences in life are not that far off from reality TV. As kids, we attend a week-long Vacation Bible School and we learn new Bible songs and stories, memorize Bible verses, and are introduced to the importance of international and homeland missions. I think that in a way, VBS is sort of a primer for youth camp and church camp. Once again, a week out of the summer is dedicated to delving into the Word of God, and the focus of every camp activity is to strengthen our spiritual life.

Youth summer mission trips and youth camps are similar in that kids spend the entire day running themselves ragged, and then attend evening worship or fireside devotions that are deeply meaningful and emotionally charged. I know I always came home from camp renewed and refreshed spiritually, but physically exhausted.

Adults have their own version of youth camp. Women and men alike attend church-sponsored retreats and nationally renowned conferences (and might I add - pay a pretty penny) in order to rekindle their passion for the Word of God.

Please don't misinterpret my meaning here. I am not bashing VBS, church camps, and church retreats. I am, however, presenting what I feel is the "reality TV" aspect of Christian living. Just like reality TV is a poor representation of life, so are VBS, mission trips, etc. poor representations of the Christian life. In real life, Satan is using every distraction to woo us with the ways of the world. (See Mark 1:13, II Corinthians 11:14, and I Thessalonian 2:18) Realistically speaking, Christ Followers must make a diligent effort to memorize the Word and pursue righteousness through Christ on a daily basis. One or two weeks out of the year, partnered with Sunday morning worship are not enough for Christ Followers to maintain a relationship with their precious Savior!

I think I enjoy watching The Bachelor and The Bachelorette because I am (and will always be) a romantic at heart. That's why it is so amazing to me that the God of the universe is constantly and daily pursuing me. Scriptures are full of examples of Almighty God expressing His love for His people Israel, and for His church, whom He gave Himself for. (Ephesians 5:25) The Song of Solomon is a beautiful book that so eloquently expresses passion and love. It is considered by some to be an allegorical depiction of God's love for His people. In Song of Solomon 2:1 we read, "I am the rose of Sharon..." Can you just imagine that Almighty God asks us, "Will you accept this rose?" THAT is true reality...and He asks us daily!

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