Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter: Finding the Remote

(Part 2 of a series).
sometimes wonder if one of the most significant inventions of the 20th century was the TV remote. 

I remember “back in the day” when my little brothers and I would have to get up off the couch and manually walk across the room and clunk our way around the dial when it was time to watch Hogan’s Heroes, or maybe C.H.I.P’s.   Once the show started it was, like, “Sssshhh….”  if my mom tried to say anything, because we didn’t want to miss anything important.

Today everything is different, thanks to this little device.  Not only do husbands and wives have an entirely new collection of arguments to engage in, (give me that remote!) but the very way we watch TV or movies has changed.  Did you know that this little guy can even pause live TV?   That’s right.  Jack Bauer can be right in the middle of tracking down some bad guys with their stolen uranium rods, and he has to stop when we tell him to!  Uh…hold it right there, Jack, I gotta go to the bathroom.  ("Chloe--I'll call you back.")  And if something else comes up, Jack will just stay there holding his cell phone while we take care of whatever we might have considered more important than an impending nuclear disaster.  Then, when we give the word he’s off again saving the Big Apple for all America.   (Bhmh-bhmh!).

You see, for the first time in history, this little device has snapped the unyielding one-step-at-a-time link between the events in a story.  Our stories don’t have to unfold one scene after another in steady succession.  Now we have the liberty to st…..      (click remote)

                                      (click remote again)              …op for as long as we want before resuming the story.  We can even jump back to the beginning to pick up a clue we might have missed or even jump to the end of a pre-recorded show. 

You know, this can really mess things up if we’re not careful.  You can get an entirely wrong idea of what’s going on in a story.   Back to our buddy Jack Bauer—if one of my sons pauses the show just as Jack is having some terrible things being done to him with jumper cables it’s going to look really bad.  Every time I walk through the family room there he is getting beat up.  Again.  WOW…sucks to be him…   Eventually my impression of Jack Bauer may begin to change.  Every time I see him he’s getting hammered on something awful.   I’ll eventually start to figure that he must be some kind of wimp, unable to take care of himself in the big bad world of international terrorism. I may even start losing my faith in our buddy Jack.   Man, he’s washed up.  He’s done for.

Now, if you ever watch the show 24 you know that that’s not really true.  Jack Bauer is actually awesome.  Terrorists quake at the sound of his name.  In fact, Jack pretty much died not too long ago, but even that couldn’t stop him.  Before you could say “conspiracy” he'd be back, ready to rock on completely with some brand new components. 

But here’s the thing—if I got stuck halfway through the story, I wouldn’t know any of that.  I’d miss it completely.  I’d never see that through some blend of courage and cleverness Jack would not only get out of his latest difficulty, but he’d actually get the best of the guy who at one time seemed to have him licked.   And I’d never discover the fact that the bad guy wasn’t really such a big deal after all.  He may have looked like a big scary bad guy, but he was really nothing more than a bully with a funny accent.  No big deal.

But wow…if I hit “pause” at the wrong place I could miss all that.  

The same thing can happen if we hit "pause" before we get to Easter.  If we stop the action after Satan's infiltration of Eden, or the struggles of the nation of Israel, or the exile years, or--worse yet--Gethsemane or the crucifixion outside Jerusalem.  The Bad Guy looks pretty powerful as God stands there apparently dumb-founded by the treachery wrought by His people.

But if I can remember to his "play" again I can see where the story goes from there.  A tomb broken open on Easter morning, followers drawn back together, the church bursting to life on Pentecost Sunday, and the Roman Empire turned upside down.  Eventually Revelations gives us a fast-forward look at Christ's second coming: "I will wipe away every tear from their eyes."  The bad guy is gone.

I need Easter.  It gives me a chance to hit "play" again.

Now where was that remote?


  1. Was that a Cake reference i saw in there?

  2. Yes it was. That's a great song. Thanks for noticing :)