Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Spiritual Content

Have you noticed the increase in the number of supernatural television shows? Premiering just this season are:

  • Invasion - After a devastating storm, a small Florida town faces alien mysteries in its midst. (ABC)

  • Threshold - After an alien craft lands on Earth, a team of specialists is recruited to respond. (CBS)

  • Surface - Humans freak out as a new form of sea life appears in locales all over the Earth. (NBC)

  • Supernatural - The Winchester brothers battle evil forces on America's back roads in their '67 Chevy Impala.

  • Night Stalker - Reporter Carl Kolchak travels the country solving unexplained phenomena and deaths. (ABC)

  • Ghost Whisperer - Newlywed Melinda Gordon communicates with the spirits of the dead to help them cross over. (CBS)

Returning from last season are:

  • Medium - Allison Dubois uses her psychic abilities to help the D.A. solve crimes. (NBC)

  • Lost - Several castaways are stranded on a mysterious island after a violent plane crash – but they are not alone. (ABC)

  • Charmed - Three witch sisters continually save the world and each other from evil. (WB)

  • Smallville - The beginnings of Superman when he was just trying to live as Clark Kent. (WB)
And this is just on network television.

We’re steeped deeply in a postmodern culture that considers itself very spiritual. Take a look at these and see what the world considers spiritual. What’s your answer to each?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What I Seek First

The key verse for my study this week in "Frazzeled Female" is Matthew 6:33:

Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.

The author is using each lesson to reveal what I'm preoccupied with instead of the Kingdom of God. My unhappiness at work and bad attitude are leading to sin (short temper, foul language, gossip) because I let it take priority. Recently I got a real clear example of where the Kingdom ranks in my life.

I ran to the gas station at lunch to buy me some potato chips (I love potato chips). On my way to the car, a guy got my attention. He was rough looking and I knew he was begging for money. He was very creative - he carried a bible as a prop.

"Ma'am. Ma'am. I'm here from Myrtle Beech and I'm waiting for my aunt to pick me up. I know I'm in a bad part of town but I'm just hungry. If you could help. I was down at the church..." blah, blah, blah.

I know my husband would not be happy that I even stopped to give this guy the time of day. But I immediatly opened my wallet. Besides my valuable debit card, I had very little cash. I gave him everything I had and told him "none of that matters, here."

While quickly moving to get into my car, without halting a step, I asked him if he read that book he was holding and he said, "Oh, yes ma'am. I ... " the traffic hopelessly drowned us out. I had barely bounced into my seat, even before I closed my door, I thought, "You know I should have opened that bible up and read him John." It wasn't 3 seconds after turning my back on him that I thought of this but he was long gone.


I thought of it after.

I thought of the Kingdom after, "I've got to get into the car", after "I've got to get back to work", after "This will be too messy."

The opportunity for that guy is lost forever to me. I hope that the lesson is not.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Are you just a mother? Then what am I?

I started a new bible study Sunday night. It has an amazing turn out - over 30 women! I'm not really surprised. The topic is "Frazzled Female". To start our first meeting, we went around the circle and introduced ourselves.

"Hi. I'm Anna Bell and I have 2 children and 8 grandchildren." <warm applause and reverance>
"Well, I'm Marie and I have teenagers!" <laughter and smiling groans>
"I have a son and a husband. That's it. That's my life." <giggles and nodding heads>
"I'm Martha and I'm the mother of a newborn." <cheers and welcome to the club>

On and on it went. 30 women. And they all said the same thing. I'm a mother. At each introduction, the group would laugh, encourage, moan, reminisce. There were even two women selected to team teach because they represented different stages of experience in mothering.

I started to cry. I didn't want to introduce myself. I can't stand the blank stares. It's like I'm some unknown beast they aren't sure is safe.

<trying to be funny>"Hi. I'm Rhonda and I'm a geek and a sugar momma." <awkward silence>"I'm putting my husband through school." <acknowledged laughter>

Why was I so sad? It is not because I wish I were a mother. I am not a mother by choice. But it was because I was an outsider. They were all mothers and nothing else. I felt utterly alone.

I go to women's functions in hopes of meeting new people and maybe finding a new friend. But it's a real struggle because there are very few women who maintain any sort of adult identity outside of being a mother. And if "that's it", if that's their life, they don't have a need for a relationship with someone like me.

I think it's completely natural for people to group themselves according to interests or commonalities. Motherhood is a major grouping and it is vitally important that mothers have a support system. But I know these women have interests of their own that they seem to be denying. They are interested in art or books or movies or politics or writing or bicycling or some other adult thing.

I know a couple of mothers who have worked hard at keeping an adult identity. And they are better mothers, wives and friends for it. They are multifaceted - in full bloom. But they are RARE! It's hard to find women who have read something besides "Goodnight Moon" or seen something besides "Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed" or get their current events from someone besides Oprah.

I will never understand what it is like to be a mother. I admit that. But I also know that motherhood is not the definition of "woman".