Note: This post was begun a couple of weeks ago (up to the point I begin writing about Smith).
I succumbed to curiosity yesterday and learned all I could about Paris Hilton. I learned that the celbutante doesn’t appear to have any talent beyond hiring good people to represent her.
I don’t normally follow such stories, but there seemed to be so much noise about her lately I thought I would check her out.
If you are like me, then perhaps you need a little background info. She was on some sort of reality TV show which permitted the luxury hotel heiress to demonstrate her inability to function in blue collar settings across the nation. She has had the usual celebrity tabloid jucies about sex, drugs, and fame available for public consumption with the exception that apparently much of what was written about her was true. She is in the news lately because she has been tossed into jail, released by the local sheriff for medical reasons (with strong suspicions of preferential treatment), and then thrown back in jail because of the furor (in a special jail which some say once again provides further suspicions of preferential treatment).
Apparently she was dragged weeping and screaming for her mother from court. From what I gather this is the end (hopefully) result of several police stops she received while driving on a suspended license (for driving under the influence of alcohol).
She is distraught.
Things have been a little bumpy for us lately. Brenda has been having a difficult time coping with the challenges of caring for her mother and our sons. Her frustration level builds and builds and builds and she explodes. She feels guilt, and a little frustration over her behavior and then... the phone rings. It’s her mom wanting her to run to the store again for the fourth time in two days, her schedule and the kids and her husband place competing demands on her time, energy and sanity and her frustration level builds.
She is distraught.
It seems absurd to compare Brenda’s challenges to the self-caused anxiety of a spoiled pop tart.
It might also seem absurd to compare Brenda’s challenges to those who suffer greatly in the world. There is the woman vainly batting flies away from her dying child. The man seeking his family through the scattered debris of a tsunami or suicide bomber. Or the man who lost his employees, his business, and all his children... Job.
About 30 years ago I read a story about a man who had some difficult experiences. It is probably apocryphal, perhaps fictional, but it still makes an interesting point.
Jedediah Smith was a mountain man who traveled throughout the west, acting as a scout, trapper, and all around explorer.
A newspaper man was taking notes about one of his great adventures. Smith was permitted to run away from his captors by running through a gauntlet (two rows of men with clubs). He told the reporter how he managed to escape, naked, from the natives. He ran, and as his enemies caught up to him, he killed them, and crossed the Rocky Mountains. He told of how he killed a deer, fashioning boots and a cloak.
The reporter was amazed.
Smith paused. He began to talk about the trolleys he had heard about in New York. How a man might be dependent on catching the right trolley to get to work on time...
“Now, if that feller misses that there trolley thing, he might miss gettin’ to work on time. If that happens, then he could lose his job, lose his only way of feedin’ his family.
“I would guess that for a man who missed that trolley, he would be in a pretty bad fix.
“I’m not sayin’ that what happened to me weren’t hard... but I’d reckon that for that feller who missed his ride to work, it might feel just as bad.”
Brenda has been distraught for some time. I haven’t been feeling the same way. That does not diminish her feelings, her point of view.
Today’s news is about Paris’ relief in being let out of jail. Part of me sees her as a spoiled socialite, but I think I can understand her fears and tears. This must have been the most traumatic thing that has happened to her.
I really don’t care much about her life, it isn’t the sort of news I find all that interesting.
There was a picture in National Geographic some time back of a legless fisherman who was carried to and from his boat each day by his wife. They weren’t bemoaning their lot. It was simply life.
Some folks run the gauntlet, some carry their spouse, lose a child... others miss a bus, spend a month without a butler.
What matters with our struggles is who we seek for solace.
Now for the real hard part.
This isn’t God’s world. It isn't a nice place. It isn't the Hilton.
We have sullied it with our sin, our self-centeredness. With those choices comes the real prince of this world, The Prince of Darkness.
I tend to see things rosier than they are. But it is a mistake to ignore that we are opposed in seeking what is just, good, right. We are encouraged to seek strength in our Lord. It isn’t a guarantee that we will be rescued (none of the apostles were), but it is a guarantee we will be given the strength to endure.