I try very hard not to use this blog as an outlet for anything more than silliness and story telling. I’m not trying to impart wisdom. I’m not trying to convert anyone to a new sense of self, nor am I really looking for support and agreement in everything I write. This is why there are a number of topics I generally avoid. But I’ve been sort of chewing on something for about a week now that I’ve been reluctant to blog about because it encompasses neither of my two intended purposes for blogging, and frankly, I still haven’t really worked out exactly how I feel or what I think. I just can’t stop thinking about it.
John and I wake up to a clock-radio alarm every morning. For most of our marriage, it was tuned in to the only channel it would pick up in our basement apartment, which was the conservative talk radio show, “Brad and Britt.” To be honest, I liked getting my news and weather report sometime before leaving the house, and I didn’t really mind the rest. But then one day, we just decided we were tired of Brad and Britt. John didn’t have a preference, so I changed our wake-up call to K-Love.
Of all things.
I don’t love contemporary Christian music. In junior high and high school, I’ve confessed, it was all I listened to. But now, I find myself listening and thinking that all of it must be written and performed by the exact same band. Many times, I feel like I’m listening to the same seventeen-minute long song, which has just been interrupted a few times by some Focus on the Family commercials.
Today, however, I am admitting, it isn’t the music on K-Love that has me annoyed. It is the DJ’s. And the callers. And the topics of conversation. And the general sense of sameness when it comes to these topics. But even when I thought I was at the peak of my annoyance a couple of weeks ago, I was still able to admit that K-Love has a very specific targeted audience, and for this audience, it really is a decent outlet on the advice, encouragement, and ministry scales.
Sometime mid-last week, one of the male DJ’s was hosting the show alone, and I woke up to the topic of the hour, which was apparently a quote. I didn’t hear who said the quote (and maybe the DJ didn’t say), but here it is:
Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.
My first reaction was to question whether I actually agreed. Maybe this is because I fancy myself a pretty realistic person, but by no means, would I say I suffer from mediocrity. As caller after caller chimed in to sing the praises of the wisdom and profoundness in this quote, I laid in bed growing more and more agitated, when finally, a woman called in to disagree.
Unfortunately, by the end of her ninety second air-time, the DJ had her convinced of the facts that, (1) Jesus’ministry was anything but realistic, if you think about it (and thank God for that or where would we be right now?), and (2) the quote really has two sides, and she could see the value in each side.
Today I finally Googled the quote.
It was spoken by Will Smith.
The context of Will Smith wisdom is unsurprisingly similar to the context of Oprah Winfrey wisdom. It is a classic rags-to-riches and mama-didn’t-raise-no-fool story. Honestly, this advice is really no different from that Thought-For-The-Day Calendar proverb:
Shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you might end up among the stars.
Let’s be realistic.
If you miss the moon, what are the odds you went far enough to reach the stars? I mean, the moon is entire light years closer to Earth than any of the stars. Let’s not even get into the fact that, realistically, average humans who have landed among the stars were probably only shooting for the top of the Sears Tower in the first place, and either by a stroke of luck, or multiple strokes of hard work and discipline, they worked their way a little further than the rest.
Whatever happened to setting attainable goals, and then, by putting one foot in front of the other, actually reaching those goals?
And don’t tell me Jesus Christ wasn’t realistic. As a mere human, he was one of the few religious leaders of his time (who am I kidding, of all time) who was able to command the attention of an audience of common people and actually get them to understand what he was saying. Usually in a reasonable amount of time. But then again, he was also God. I think that means it was pretty realistic for the guy to be turning water into wine, healing lepers, and rising from the dead. I mean, God, as I know Him, made humans out of dirt. But first, He had to make the dirt. Anyone who has ever attempted to teach high school freshmen how to write essays can appreciate the difficulty of creating something out of nothing.
I think I understand what Will was thinking when he made this comment, I’m just not sure he was talking to people like me. I happen to enjoy my above-average, not mediocre, realistic thinking. On the other hand, John says I have a slightly delusional view of reality, and perhaps even upon publication of this post, I’m only further announcing my disconnection from others, due to my rose-colored Claire Wait glasses that I natuarlly assume everyone else is simultaneously wearing.
Come on. It doesn’t matter what I say. People know what I mean.