Note: My blogging the last couple weeks has been very sparse… very busy seasons in ministry and extended family. But I have made the needed adjustments, and will be blogging regularly again.
Pretty soon standard definition TV will be a thing of the past… HDTV and digital signals will rule the airwaves. With this comes increased clarity, resolution, and detail.
And while that is good (I think) for television viewing, I have noticed a trend in the other areas of my life and thinking where it is decidedly NOT good. High Definition Reality. Here’s what I mean:
No argument that the culture I live in has become much more focussed on appearance in a very veneer-thin sense. I find the paradox is intriguing… tooth whiteners, tanning beds, botox, and plastic surgery account for millions (if not billions) of dollars a year, and yet we go out to dinner in designer sweatshirts 🙂
No seriously, there is nothing wrong with tending to appearance. I have used tooth whiteners (in a failed attempt to erase my childhood’s tetracycline-induced tooth stains) and tanning beds (SAD stinks). And one of my hobbies is classic men’s style. Image IS important, but it’s the hyper-focus on appearance that gives me pause.
And lest you think this is a rant-post, here is where this hits home for me. I find myself having to continually be reminded by God that nobody’s life is the image of success that we have all been sold. No secret to anyone who knows me, I have made a lot of mistakes: As pastor, husband, father, and friend, I have inadvertently hurt people and goofed up… a lot! And I find myself thinking that those things take me out of the running for true success. As if I have missed the cut to be something truly great because all the graphs in my life are not straight lines up and to the right.
But the truth of it is that NOBODY"S life can survive High Definition scrutiny. Even those whose success appears stellar and unflawed are marred by the wrinkles of reality. Inflated egos, bad decisions, and what-was-I-thinking regrets plague us ALL. Even great men and women.
Abraham Lincoln was clinically depressed. Andrew Jackson was accused of bigomy and burned down a bar while drunk. King David was an adulterer and murderer. The apostle Paul a religious terrorist. We’re all messed up, hurt, and battered. We all wear scars and wrinkles on our soul.
But just like the lines on my face lend depth, character, and even an integrity to my appearance (contrast the Hollywood face-lift/botox look) the wrinkles and scars of past mistakes add character and integrity to my soul.
So I can say with confidence – focus the High Definition lens on me. You will see my wrinkles of character, hurt, and regret. But I wouldn’t trade them for the world… because it shows God’s handiwork in my life.