American Idol (atry?)

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Idolatry is rooted in delusions of grandeur, and when properly understood, is a hint at the hoped-for grandeur we expect as people who are created in the image of God.

It is that time again¢â‚¬¦
Time for American Idol
The time of year when people who can’t sing
Regale us with their inabilities¢â‚¬¦

We wince. We groan. We plug our ears.
We watch the contestants squirm
As they stand before the tribunal
of Randy, Paula and Simon
And we wonder–
How many ways are there to say-
You can’t sing.
You shouldn’t sing.
Please, never sing in public again.

We remember William Hung
the American Idol reject
best known for his hyperactive, tone-deaf rendition
of Ricky Martin ‘s “She Bang¢â‚¬¦

He could not sing,
Yet has brokered his abject talent into a career
His debut album, “Inspiration,” sold over 100,000 copies.
He said of his success: “I still am surprised.” “I can’t believe it.”

I agree- I can’t believe it either–

Inquiring minds are eager to know–what lessons can we learn
from this spectacle called American Idol?

1) WE laugh at delusional contestants because they remind us of the folly of trying to be something we are not.

Somehow in this “you can be whatever you want to be “self-help” world¢â‚¬¦
We realize there are limitations to what we can become¢â‚¬¦
If you’re 4 feet 8 inches tall, no matter how athletic,
you’ll never be an NBA basketball player.
And the 6 foot 8 inch 300 pounder
will never be a jockey in the Kentucky Derby.
If you are tone deaf and can’t sing¢â‚¬¦
You will not become America’s musical Idol.
You should pursue another line of work.

2) A second lesson:
It seems that each human believes we are destined for greatness.

As rejected contestants leave the judges
their reactions range from disbelief, to anger and sorrow¢â‚¬¦
But each has in common the conviction
that they are unique
and special
They believe the world would be a better place
if their greatness was recognized¢â‚¬¦

And it would be¢â‚¬¦
Because every human possesses unique skills and abilities
Which, when identified, developed, and properly expressed¢â‚¬¦
enrich all of us.

CS Lewis put it this way: “You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

3) And that leads to our third lesson¢â‚¬¦Idolatry is wrong.
Remember the 10 commandments: you shall not make for yourself an IDOL.

At the heart of American Idol is a false premise—
We are led to believe that we should idolize
People who are talented, famous and rich.

This is an age old problem–

Theologian John Calvin said: “Every one of us is, even from his mother’s womb, a master craftsman of idols.”

And playwright George Bernard Shaw captures our contemporary idolatry perfectly when he says: “The savage bows down to idols of wood and stone, the civilized man to idols of flesh and blood.”

We all now that idolatry is wrong.

The true winners in this world are those individuals
Who discover and develop their talents
& offer them in service to God and their fellow humans¢â‚¬¦
reflecting God’s image in all they do and giving thanks to God
the giver of every good and perfect gift!

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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