Thursday, February 10, 2005

Tantrums on Idol

Our family enjoys American Idol. It's generally family fare. And if we tape it, we can avoid commercials. The season when our cleancut, local boy Clay Aiken was winning was really fun.

I have to admire all the participants, though, for making themselves vulnerable to potentially harsh criticism. They have to know Simon will show little mercy. And when he (or one of the other judges) lowers the boom ... ouch!

How do you think you would respond? The one who cried when he laid eyes on the California beaches won me over with his simple gratitude for being there. The one who got crushed, then - like a real man - said, "Thank you for the opportunity." The girls whose disappointment ripples visibly across their faces, but they nod their heads and say thanks. I find them refreshing.

Then there are the ones who rage. Every third word is bleeped. A parent yells at the camera how unfair it is.... what makes them so embittered? Maturity is obviously not proportionate to age! I feel for them, though. They expected a certain result, and when they couldn't get it, further efforts were not even possible, they melted down.

We're all like this at one time or another. We live in a results-oriented culture. It's also an instant gratification kind of culture. Frustration often comes in expecting a particular result and is magnified when we set up a time limit. We can avoid the meltdowns if we can hand over the results to God. Enjoy the process and let go of the outcome.

A friend reminded me of this freeing concept yesterday. She had faced an issue much bigger than she felt capable of handling. So she focused on walking with God, step by step through it. And she said He unfolded the most amazing plan, far beyond her expectations, as she waited on Him and accepted His direction. She got a most unexpected and wonderful result, but she emphasized what a peaceful process it was.

Whatever you are facing, however you are serving Christ, try not to let a lack of results or "skewed" results discourage you. Give those to God. And give thanks for the opportunity.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9