I just spent the better part of 2 hours – scratch that – I just spent almost 2 mind-numbing hours watching clips from “Britain’s Got/Australia’s Got/Korea’s Got/America’s Got Talent”! No, I was not ironing clothes, filling care packages for soldiers or sorting bags for the homeless AND watching “ –‘s Got Talent” on my TV. I was sitting at my computer with a cup of coffee, tears dropping down my cheeks and occasionally wiping those tears with the cuff of my sweatshirt. No, this wasn’t in the evening after a full day. This was how I spent 2 hours of my morning.
What possessed me? Was this an ethically wrong use of time? Was this slothfulness? (Cool, neglected word, isn’t it? Slothfulness). Should I be embarrassed? Do I need to make up for lost time? Can I make up for lost time? Was this lost time?
Why was I lost in those clips? There are some obvious answers to this question: I love a good story; I love to cheer for the underdog; I love the thrill of God-given talent. But I know the foremost answer to this question is that I love to see people be seen. I’m not talking about, “Hey look, there’s Carrie”! The “seen” I delight in is “we see your worth”. However, connecting being seen with a talent show makes it sound like our worth is found in being talented. I’m losing my analysis here.
A couple months ago, I was talking to my youngest daughter who is studying to become a civil engineer. She asked a great question. Why do we admire and compliment talent in the arts and sports far more than accomplishments in education, the sciences and hard work? We came up with a couple theories including, the arts and sports have a component of drama in them and we are moved by dramas. The arts and sports are performance pursuits that have more opportunity to be seen by others than educational achievements, sciences and hard work. And lastly, how can I eloquently state this? What we are fans of and ooh and aah over, shows that our culture is screwed up and has messed up priorities. Maybe.
I have to give kudos here to my husband. My girls and I have been guilty of yelling at him, “You don’t know who ‘so-an-so’ is?!? What planet are you living on?!?” He calmly replies, “No I haven’t heard of ‘so-and-so actor/athlete/singer’ and I really don’t care. What’s so important about them?” He enjoys and retains the information in documentaries on history, politics, religion, inventions, how-things-work, nature, etc. He wears the title “nerd” with great pride.
But fan-girls and nerds a like need to know how God SEES us. The fact that Jesus came to save us and we don’t have the capacity to save ourselves highlights that He’s not all that taken with what we can do. He’s smitten with who we are and since He’s God, he knows through and through who we are.
As Stasi Eldredge writes in her book “Becoming Myself”, “God has a thing for human beings. Though as you look around the planet, this does at times seem hard to believe, it remains true. We are loved. Born out of love, into love, to know love, and to be loved. Yes, we are born into a fallen, sorry world, which is at the same time more lovely than any fairy tale. It is both. And in this beautiful, heartbreaking world, God—the eternal, omniscient, amazing One—loves human beings. Including you. Especially you.”
You are seen! You do not need your 15 minutes of fame on “America’s Got Talent”. The startling truth is in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. And if you need assurance that there aren’t any judges who will push the reject buzzer on you as you stand on this world stage, read 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Let that sink in. I’ve got to go iron some clothes; or at least hang up the pile of clothes that is covering my couch. I don’t want to look like I wasted time.