A Tale of Two Clippies

Today I watched two very different videos. One was a clip from an interview with Charlie Sheen that’s going to run tonight on ABC. Sheen has been all over the news the past couple of weeks because of his craziness, and in his interview he says even crazier things. Sometimes you get a peek inside someone’s mind and it’s enlightening. This, however, is frightening. Here are a few quotes from the interview:

“Yeah, I am on a drug; it’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available because if you try it once, you’ll die… Your children will weep over your exploded body.”

When asked if he regretted the last time he did drugs, he answers, “I’m proud of what I created. It was radical.”

“I expose people to magic. I expose them to something they’re never otherwise gonna see in their boring, normal lives.”

Regarding his daughters who live with his ex-wife: “They’ll wake up one day and realize how cool dad is. And, you know, signs all the checks on the front, not the back.”

I’m extremely old-fashioned. I’m a nobleman. I’m chivalrous.”

Yikes. Here’s a guy who comes across just a wee bit narcissistic, hedonistic, with a side of delusional. And I love(d) Charlie Sheen as an actor. It hurts to watch.

The other video was also painful to watch, but for entirely different reasons. I watched part of “Invisible Children: Rough Cut.” It tells the story of the war that was going on in Uganda and still continues in the Congo, specifically the story of children who have been abducted into the Lord’s Resistance Army and forced to become child soldiers, as well as the thousands of children who sleep in fear each night that they will be abducted next.

It is impossible to take in the truth about what is going on there and not have your heart break.

Early in the film, one of the narrators mentions how uncomfortable we feel when we are confronted with extreme poverty or atrocities like this, and to simply ask ourselves why we feel uncomfortable. To just soak in that question before trying to answer it.

Could part of our uncomfortableness come from guilt because now we are no longer ignorant? Because deep down we recognize that even though we are on the other side of the world we still have a responsibility to help?

Charlie Sheen has captured the American dream. No one can tell him how to live. He can (and does) do anything he wants. He lives like a king and takes what pleases him. He lives “the good life.”

Contrast his choices and lifestyle with the efforts of “Invisible Children,” an organization that exists to save others through awareness and action.

I may be oversimplifying things, but I feel that there are two paths before me. I can choose to pursue the American dream that Charlie Sheen has captured. To go all out in enjoying the good life and providing the best I can for my family. Or I can choose a different kind of dream. A dream that looks more like the kingdom of God here on earth. Where God’s will is done. Where I live for the “least of these.”

I am moved to the latter path. I am moved to join the fight against injustice.

How To Keep God Close

Staying connected to God is not rocket science. It is not something that is hard to figure out how to do, but it is often something we don’t want to do.

Then at those times when it feels like God is silent and distant, we often assume that it’s God who has drifted away from us. If God seems absent or inactive, maybe we should do a quick pulse check on ourselves

It would be good to ask if the following quote from Stuff Christians Like is true of us:

“…I’m not starting my days with God right now. I’m not praying actively like I usually do. I’m not centering my mornings and my days on who he is and who he made me to be. It’s been a week since I’ve cracked my Bible and in it’s absence I’ve been filling my head and heart with junk.

I’ve been watching shows on Hulu that I never watch. I’ve been aimlessly surfing online which is usually a deathtrap for me. I’ve been nudging my boundaries all over the place. I’ve been reading and listening to things I usually avoid. Hmmm, I wonder if any of that will have a consequence?”

What I put into my head and my heart affects my soul.

The things that I’m consuming will either feed or starve my relationship to God. There’s no such thing as neutral.

And I know what the good things are that strengthen my connection to Jesus… the problem is that I don’t always want the good things. It is in these times that I need to turn to Jesus and desperately ask him to change what I want into what he wants.

What have you been feeding your head and your heart this week? Is it time to go on a diet or maybe to introduce some new foods?

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

James 4:8