I think this is a new, post-seminary phenomenon. No longer having my mind overwhelmed with terms that I pretended to understand, my mind seems to latch on to particular phrases or ideas I hear in normal conversation, talk radio or off my podcast collection.
Driving home from my Presbytery Examination (I passed by the way), I listened to the Dave Ramsey show. It’s a very interesting quasi-Christian, financial help radio program. I strongly agree with his no-nonsense, no-debt approach, and will be interested to learn more.
The phrase that stuck with me was: “Successful people don’t know who American’s next top model is, or who got voted off the island.” As someone with a television addiction, as trite and silly as the statement was, it did help illuminate where my priorities lay.
I don’t think “success” is a bad term for the church, in fact our shying away from such concepts because we don’t want to be like the megachurch may be part of our problem. However, we should strive for success in the church, not at the expense of the gospel but in light of the freedom found in the gospel.
Therefore, as I seek to create the appropriate rythyms in my fully-employed life, Dave’s words came at a crucial point for me. Methods of escaping the constant pressure of the church are important, but often times I can escape to the detriment of my family, and my own life into the worlds of Jerry and Elaine; Jack, President Palmer and Chloe; Jack, Kate, Hugo and Sawyer; and those folks on the island (or in China in the current case) who have no lasting significance on the success of ministry.
Now, I am not quite ready to say that successful people don’t know what’s happening with Jim, Pam, Dwight, Andy and Michael.
PS-is it bothersome to anyone else that probably 80% of folks will know what shows I am talking about merely by listing the character’s first names?