Saturday, March 22, 2014

Popeye Moment

I remember when my daughter was younger, I was sitting on the couch watching one of my least favorite children's TV shows "Dora the Explorer" with her.

That particular day Dora came across this furry creature known as a “wizzle” that was lost and needed to be “wished” home. I sat there with my girl who was glued to the TV and tracking with every mission that Dora had to complete in order to “wish the wizzle home.”

Cross the crocodile lake, scale the magic mountain, pass over the troll guarded bridge all while trying to avoid swiper the fox and his fiendish ways.

During every mission Dora asks questions like “will you help us row our boat to get across Crocodile Lake?” Or “will you pull on this rope to help us scale magic mountain?” and many more annoying questions that just beg for a sarcastic answer like “no, row your own boat”, or “give me some gloves so my hands don’t get burned up holding this rope…I mean Benny the Bull is a load” and answers like that.

As I was sitting there that particular episode I found myself getting more and more tense as everything within me wanted to scream out in response to her absolutely redundant questions, but I knew that my daughter was really into it, and I didn’t want to set a poor example for her.

Well, about 15 minutes into the show I had had enough, the lake, the mountain, the bridge, swiper, the questions and then finally the incredibly deep, lyrically challenging song that the map sings when he makes his appearance pushed me over the edge. Here is his theme song…”I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, I’m the map, I’M THE MAP!”

That was it, I had my own personal “Popeye” moment…”I can’t stands no more!” I stood up, Serena in my arms, and yelled out at the top of my lungs in the general direction of my TV and at little miss Dora in particular “WISH THE WIZZLE HOME!

Ahh, I felt much better, I let Dora and her cast of annoying creatures know that I desired something a little more challenging for my TV viewing pleasure. The only problem was, Serena started crying and my wife came running into the living room to see what all the ruckus was about.

I sat there relieved and yet pretty embarrassed that I had let Dora get the best of me, but it also made me think abut how important discernment and taking a stand are in our world today.

The more I work in ministry, the more I realize that too many times we just take what we’re being presented with by media, movies, magazines, and music as being the truth. Messages to young girls from the media are telling a complete and utter lie that “in order to be beautiful you must look like this”, or to guys that “unless you have a six-pack set of abs like Brent (ha ha) you’re a loser!”

Man how my heart breaks every time I see discernment-less responses to these messages that are being assailed on a daily basis at the non-discerning of the world, as well as a "head in the sand" response by those of who should be taking a stand for truth.

Every time a teen cuts, purges, or gives into some sort of temptation it is usually in response to a message that they have internalized as truth from a TV show, movie, song lyric or magazine ad…How tragic!

I believe one of the things that we as parents need to continue to do with our kids is teach them how to discern what they are being fed and then stand with them as they courageously have their own "popeye moments" for what is right.

Questions like “why is that true or not true?” and “what standard is that message being based on?” should be a part of everyone’s thought process, and speaking the truth in love should be our prayerful response.

Ok, now that I got that off my chest I need to get ready for some more discernment practice with my kids...Spongebob is up next!

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