My lovely wife tends to become periodically addicted to TV shows. When she does, she’ll binge on Hulu for extended periods of time, taking in an entire season in a few nights, on occasion. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind that much…after all, everyone needs a vice, and, as vices go, this is a pretty harmless form of escapism. Her choice of programming, however, baffles me at times, as it seems very out of character for her.
Case in point (as well as current addiction): Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the course of Karen’s addiction, we’ll assign this case number Buf-1.
Earlier this week, she borrowed a previous season of Buffy from a friend of hers. Enter case number Buf-2. She came home a bit later to recount to me a conversation she had with a few friends about the show (apparently there are other closet Buffy fans out there…this comforts me a bit. Perhaps we’ll add a support group to the treatment strategy for case Buf-2. Details to be confirmed later). The conversation, as Karen recounts it, was about how her friend tends to see the spiritual very plainly in prime-time television shows such as this. Specifically, her friend described to her a recent episode of Desperate Housewives, during which this friend was able to identify several women of the Biblical narrative in the characters of the show, and actually found herself inspired to search the Scriptures while the episode was on she was so taken by the similarities (perhaps she’ll comment here and leave details).
A strange development in case Buf-2.
Rewind to Sunday morning. I’m in the green room of my church waiting with two actors who were about to go on stage for a technical rehearsal. The band was finishing sound checks. I commented to one of the actors that worship music typically just doesn’t cut it for me. It always seems a bit too fluffy and happy. She felt the same. Seemingly innocent conversation, right? But wait! A connection has developed to case Buf-2!
My job involves a significant amount of driving during the summer, and my agency rents a vehicle each week for this purpose. Sometimes I get lucky, and score a vehicle with XM and an iPod connection. See, I’m very picky (some would say a bit snobbish) about my music selection. Basically, I want to listen to my music a la carte, what-I-want-when-I-want-it. XM is an alternative, because I can at least choose what genre I want, or catch up on the news. This week, however, was an unlucky week, and I have a standard radio in the vehicle. Well, since nobody uses CD’s anymore (I’m not snobbish, really!), and there’s no iPod connection, I’m stuck with one of the banes of my existence: FM radio.
After much complaining, I’m making the best of it. As I struggle with fuzzy reception and irritating commercials, alternating with periods of frustration in which I just turn it off and periods of insanity in the ensuing silence, I did manage to find a classic rock station that was tolerable. Well, classic in the sense that its the rock I grew up with. I was thinking (aka, singing and drumming the steering wheel) with the music a couple of days ago, and I realized I connect spiritual implications to nearly every song. I seem to have developed a case of my own.
We’ll assign this case number Roc-1.
Now, perhaps I just have a tendency to theologize or philosophize things too deeply…seminary can do that a guy. Or, perhaps its the artist in me that sees the metaphor in the music, which almost always paints life where the musician is/was at that time. Likely, a combination of both is happening here (I don’t recall philosophizing Guns N’ Roses or Van Halen quite so much in my youth). Whatever the case, though, I end up praying more after listening to this than I do many worship sets I take in on Sunday mornings.
Could it be that my hearing the spiritual implications in classic rock and my wife and her friend seeing them in prime-time television are symptoms of the same disorder? Could Buf-2 and Roc-1 be related cases???
Is there any hope for a cure?!?!?!?!
Perhaps, though, this isn’t such a bad thing. It occurs to me that I’d rather find the spiritual in the everyday, “real world” than a sanitized environment on Sunday mornings. Perhaps this is God being big enough to us that we see Him everywhere, instead of compartmentalizing Him into certain time blocks on our weekly calendars. Perhaps, as artists create television shows and music, they can’t help but point back to Him in some capacity as they ponder life, because, after all, we are all hard-wired to believe in a higher power (as stated early in Paul’s letter to the Romans). Perhaps all truth really is God’s truth.
And perhaps these aren’t such bad cases after all.