Monday, December 10, 2012

They Don't Understand the Way You Live!

I love that commercial for an insurance company, that ends with the tagline: "There are people who don't understand the way you live." I can totally relate!

I tend to fall into this category myself. I don't understand the lifestyles depicted on Keeping Up with The Kardashians, or Jersey Shore, or The Real Housewives of Atlanta, (or New York, or Dallas, or Beverly Hills, etc.) I don't understand the appeal of TV shows that glorify family conflicts and dysfunction (Sister Wives, Dance Moms, or 16 and Pregnant), or "game shows" on which people embarrass themselves with bizarre challenges (Fear Factor, Wipeout, Hell's Kitchen, or Survivor) And don't even get me started on Honey Boo-Boo!

The rise of reality TV has given us a fascinating peek into the lives of people we might never meet otherwise. It has given us a glimpse into careers that we may never have thought of: like driving a big rig with Ice Road Truckers, tuna fishing a la Wicked Tuna, or helping people dig out from under their clutter in Hoarding: Buried Alive. And reality TV has proven that most of us are living in denial and we are apparently doing everything wrong: (What Not to Wear, Kitchen Nightmares, The Biggest Loser.)   

Don't get me wrong. I am not judging here, I just don't understand the way those people live! And I don't understand the appeal of watching the way those people live.

There are people who don't understand the way that David and I live, either. We get it. 

There are people who don't understand what we are doing with The Oasis. They seem to think that following God's intention for our lives is bizarre. They don't understand why we don't "have real jobs" or why we aren't worried about money. They don't understand our desire to move to a rural area and open our home to strangers. They don't understand why anyone would want to go on a retreat to experience a closer walk with God. They don't understand that prayer and worship can change, and vastly improve, their lives. They just don't understand the way we live! And they probably don't understand why I watch the TV shows I do (Doctor Who, Falling Skies, Haven, The Walking Dead, and yes, I'll admit it: The Simpsons).

So here we are. I do not understand the way other people live, and they do not understand the way I live. However, I do understand that we are all beloved children of God. And He understands everything. 

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 
For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, 
and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." 
(Mark 7:1-2) 


  1. Nicely written. It is amazing the diversity of people and how we live. Sometimes it makes me very sad to see what people settle for. Sometimes it makes me incredibly happy to enjoy the company of those very different from who I am.

    1. Thanks Holly. I agree - we are a diverse species! And yet, deep down, I think people are all similar: we all want to love and be loved. It just goes to show how profoundly inventive and wildly loving God is... and that God has a wicked sense of humor! :)

  2. Hmm...perhaps beginning at this point (that we don't understand the way other peeps live) is a good start to the conversation about understanding one another. DO we have to completely understand one another in order to be in relationship? If so, then why the life of faith, as we'll never completely understand God. I see beauty in the mystery and complexity of humanity, and I have a good hunch that our Creator might, too.

    1. Angie, thanks for your thoughts! I DON'T think we have to understand one another to be in relationship - with God or other humans.

      Something tells me humans have struggled with this concept since the beginning of time, which is why we end up in conflict. Not understanding something makes us fearful. When we are afraid of something we tend to label it "wrong" or "evil". And if something is wrong or evil, then we must destroy it to preserve ourselves. (That's the history of war in 2 seconds.)

      Jesus said "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God." He was onto something!