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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

What I'm Reading today: 1 Peter 1

I had a few moments to kill today, so I sat down and started flipping channels. There was nothing on any of my favorite channels so I decided to continue further down the listings and see what new viewing experience I might stumble upon. Right away I saw a listing for a program that I had never seen – so I turned to the channel.

The program I stopped on was Glenn Beck's television show. He had been in the news a good deal the past week due to the event he sponsored in Washington, DC so I thought it might be interesting to see what he was up to.

I managed to watch about 3 minutes of the program before I found myself reaching for the remote. What frustrated me during those 3 minutes was the way he was talking about some people's reaction to the event he organized.

He set things up in such a way where he said, "Some people have said that the group I pulled together was made up of extremist wackos." Then he would show a serene picture of a grandmother from Iowa. "Now let me show you a picture of the group that made this accusation." Then he would cut to a mob scene from an undisclosed location.

"Others have said my event was attended only by uneducated, rabid white racists." Then he would cut to interviews with an articulate twenty-something white woman, and a well-informed African-American man. "These are the people who made the accusations," he would say. Then he would cut to the audio of a spastic white man ranting against Beck on the air.

Beck's "analysis" got old after a while so I turned the channel.

I know there are some moderates and conservatives who would suggest that folks on the other side of the political spectrum do the same thing as Beck – take things out of context. I suppose that if you flipped into programs like Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert for just 3 minutes (like I did with Beck) it would probably seem that way.

Lost in the steady stream of accusations is the fact that the way we deal with life these days is incredibly broken. We have allowed ourselves to get to the point where we resort to name-calling and innuendo to discredit those who have the nerve to disagree with us. We also tend to focus our energies on the personalities involved and ignore the real issues. All the while we get further and further off track.

I suppose that is why the words from 1 Peter struck a chord with me today – words that promised "the day is coming when you'll have it all – life healed and whole." I LOVE the way Peter talks about what it means to have it all. He equates having it all to having a life healed and whole. A life that doesn't depending on sound-bites taken out of context to prove a point. A life that transcends the superficial labels we impose on one another in order to justify our decision to marginalize "them" (whoever the "them" of the moment happens to be).

I long for such times!

As you move through your day today and encounter those voices that push your buttons and make you feel ready to resign yourself to live a life that is diseased and broken, remember the words from 1 Peter and aspire to something more.

Til next time …

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