Lent Blog #13 (Reality)

March 1, 2010

Reality television has always made me laugh. The Hills, Jersey Shore, The Real World. Everyone knows that they are scripted. Heck, even the actors make fun of the fact that they are scripted. We know that they are not real and yet, we still tune in every week. And while some of them are slightly entertaining, if only on the grounds that the amount of drama perceived in those shows doesn’t happen to anyone in a given week, I still have to wonder why we keep watching them. Sitcoms I get. Sitcoms and dramas have story lines and you follow them for that. But why do we, as a society, spend so much time glued to the television set watching “reality”? Are our lives THAT mundane?

I bring this up because, as everyone probably knows, the three hour season finale of The Bachelor was on tonight. I didn’t have to watch it to know who got picked because, as I scrolled through Facebook, close to 40 status’ were talking about the details that unfolded on the show tonight. When I opened up my Yahoo! Mail account, the top stories were about The Bachelor’s pick. I had to search through several pages to find anything about the tsunami in Chile or the recovery efforts in Haiti, both of which should be on the forefront of our thoughts, in my opinion. Tonight, instead of watching the finale of The Bachelor, I went to a chapel forum hosted by IJM or International Justice Mission. I will admit that there was a part of me that wanted to see who Jake picked and a part of me that was only at the forum because of the 3 chapel credits that it offered. But, as I sat there listening to the speaker talk about the millions of people still in slavery today, I realized that I was getting more reality than I would have from the finale of a “reality” T.V. show.

That show is not reality. I have no vested interest in whom this random man ends up marrying. And it gives me no notion that fighting with 25 other women for your husband is a good idea. God has provided us with a whole lot of reality in the world around us. He has given us a heart that should be proactive in changing the injustices in our world, not one that is content with sitting in front of a T.V.  taking an interest in whom ABC thinks this man should marry. I am just as guilty as anyone else. Last season I was just as invested and just as shocked at the final rose. But I think it is time to pay attention to reality. Actual reality. That is when change starts.

God, thank You for calling me into action against injustice in this world. Grant that I may be compelled to have the same compassion for Your people as You do. May I never get lazy and assume someone else will take care of it.


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