Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It’s Not The Hilton...

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.


pecheur said...

"given the strength to endure."

May I find that strength often and boldly.

bjk said...

good stuff...THANKS

Judas Hate said...

Hello my dear Friend.

In catching up on your posts, I left you a comment on "A Milestone", which is also my answer to your question in "Planning".
And just when I thought I would poke out my eyes with toothpicks and plug my ears with glue over another "Paris" reference, you managed to turn it into a great post.
I truly admire how your brain works and thoroughly enjoy all your writing.


Suzanne said...

I needed to read this...I had some good complaints today, I suppose...hurt feelings over people who think I'm no more than a dot at the end of their sentence..it was getting to me, till I read your post here...not about Paris, but about the woman fighting flies around her dying child ..that part...I need to be reminded that what I find distasteful and hurtful is nothing compared to that. God be with those women and their babies..today...please God and please forgive me...
Take care, friend.

Felisol said...

Dear CS,
Thank you for being there when I needed it mostly.
In June I lost my father and by an inch my daughter was saved.
I was totally lost, and did not know what to do, so I asked everybody I knew to pray for my daughter,..and the Lord had mercy.
I've been where your Breda seems to be many times. One strives doing ones best, but is never enough, never finished.
I call it being sandwiched.
Poor girl. Hopefully some can relieve her of some of her burdens. Give her some space for herself in her own life.
She has done a tremedous job for so many years, the unacknowledged Martha chores. Only seen when they are not done!
I know you love your wife.
She also looked so pritty and happy at Jeremiah's graduation day.
I'll pray for her right now and continue doing so.
I hope some can relieve

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Nice post.
Yeah, Paris Hilton is surely spoiled and given preferential treatment. Still, I suspect her particular situation right now is quite miserable-- fighting alcolholism, no doubt, and feeling helpless. If she is without faith imagine her terror, perhaps even despair. I'm trying to resist the public inclination to regard her with contempt. It's so tempting. Still, she is surely a suffering child of God, even if spoiled.

I feel for your wife. It helps me to remember that it is not my responsibility to do everything that anyone wants me to do. The Lord knows how many hours I have in the day. ( I must constantly remind myself of this.)

Suzanne said...

I almost forgot to say I would pray for your wife. At one time, I had two parents who were not doing so well in my care alot of the time, three small children I was trying to homeschool, and one teen who was putting herself and all of us through a trial that I just could not understand. It was crazy and I just recall shaking my head and thinking..Lord, I don't know what You want! In time and just somehow knowing if my daughter could get through her stuff, then the rest would fall into place...it did..most all of it. There are still struggles from time to time, however, there always will be.
I urge her to pray specifically with regard to hoping it is in God's Will and asking Him to help ease things up a bit. He will.

Jada's Gigi said...

A good post..yes, none of us are immune to life..and the very difficult parts of it..not even the heiresses...I've actually heard that Paris does much of what she does to support her family..the Hilton name hotels and many assets were sold long ago and the source I heard says that someone has to work...hmmmm
I don't know about that but I do know that it rains on the just and the unjust alike and as long as we are held captive by this flesh we will suffer hardship...it is the way of things here in this realm.
I pray God will lighten the load for your family and free you all from any unnecessary difficulties...He alone knows what is truly necessary...

Amrita said...

I feel sorry for Paris owning all that she has she doesn 't know what 'true life ' is. Its disturbing to see how impressionalbe young people are trying to emulate her decadent life stlye.
My heart goes out to Brenda.sometimes I 've felt like banging my head against a wall while dealing with a trying situation.
Every man 's trouble is enough for himself.But as you said where do we look for solace and comfort.We can 'use ' our trials to make us stronger or let them wear us down.

Anonymous said...

Amen Brother, amen! I will keep precious Brenda in my prayers. Thank God we know the end of the story. We win!

bigwhitehat said...

In my personal experience, severe stupidity is terminal. I don't give her very long.

wanting more said...

It is good that God knows us inside and out...created our very spirits and forms. He knows just exactly what it will take for us to go running as fast as we can into His arms, or what it will take to cause us to give up enough on our own strength - sometimes meaning we have nothing left at all - and allow Him to come in and be the intimate lover and father and friend that He so longs to be. You are so right on about that point being a completely different place for each of us, and our own responsibility being to respond to Him. It doesn't matter how, just as long as we respond to Him. I have journals full of ranting at God, cussing at Him, and begging Him never to let me forget to come to Him with all of my ugly stuff...and beautiful praises. Your struggles look completely different from your wife's struggles - I think that's normal. One of the things that has brought me much comfort in my times of bratty ranting or emotional turmoil, or complete exhaustion from just living and daily demands, has been to look in the Psalms for the ones that David wrote to God when he felt like I feel on that particular day. A mighty mighty man of God felt small and lonely and angry and scared and sad, and he wasn't afraid to let God know about it! It's kind of like throwing His Word right back in His face...if I can say that!

Jim said...

Your post prompted me to repost my old Paris Hilton blurb on my lessor blog tonight,