Monday, January 15, 2007

i'm no andy taylor

Mrs. Craver brought home a DVD of the Andy Griffith Show. It’s good clean fun, and I thoroughly enjoy the shows. Sheriff Andy Taylor’s skills of diplomacy are absolutely stellar! He is able to peacefully negotiate every jam people get themselves into and they all come out playing fair with each other by the end of the show. It is especially amusing to see how the sheriff guards his deputy’s self-esteem, even when Deputy Fife’s character and goals are in conflict with the good sheriff.

We could learn from this fictional character. He’s a good role model. As for me, I don’t always have that pacifying effect on folks. (I must admit that my own sinfulness is chiefly to blame.) But as we compare, let’s remember that we are talking about a fictitious story versus real life. Furthermore, the great TV sheriff’s primary goal is to keep the peace, whereas mine (my primary goal) is not. As an ambassador for Jesus Christ, I must strive for grace AND truth. That makes it more complicated than simply going for the path of least resistance.

There are allowances that the sheriff makes when people do not do right, because it is not his way to stir up contention. As I try (imperfectly) to point people to Jesus Christ, I will sometimes shine a light on things that we find hiding in the darkness. Sometimes, I don’t even do that on purpose.

Today, my mind is drawn to the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior. I can easily find more flaws in MLK than in Sheriff Andy Taylor, but it would serve mankind and our Lord better to emulate MLK. Unfortunately, Doctor King was not rewarded on this side of the grave for his efforts. His wife and children paid a heavy price for MLK’s dedication to righteousness.

That’s a difficult call for a husband and father, putting his family at risk, but what did the heroes of the Bible do? How could I please God best when faced with the tension between peace and righteousness? I truly desire to avoid unnecessary conflict, but ultimately, I hope to make choices for the pleasure of the Lord and primarily act as His ambassador rather than a politician.

We’ll see how it goes. Meanwhile, I’ll continue enjoying the illusion of Mayberry. (whistling Andy Griffith theme song...)


Llama Momma said...

I loved that show as a kid! But you're right, not reality by any stretch. Bummer. Same thing with Leave it to Beaver. Dontcha wish life COULD be that simple?

Craver Vii said...

LM, I have to laugh, because I never liked Leave it to Beaver. When I jokingly (but thoughtlessly) expressed to my buddy that the show was “artistically void,” he didn’t laugh, but pointed his long skinny finger at me and as dramatic as I have ever seen him hollered, “Well, that’s just un-American!!” Today, every time I think of that show, I remember how my mild-mannered friend was stirred to react so strongly. I guess it represented a special place and time when people were decent and life was wholesome and clean. I never saw it from that perspective.

Charity, I think I need to ask the same hard question. Today, it is a lot easier to say it out loud without fear of retaliation that MLK was a hero. I can easily see myself supporting him in private prayer, but I have tasted a sampling of the sting of bigotry. And I can only hope that if I was a little older when intersecting with such a piece of history, that I would not cower pitifully, making a god of self-preservation.

Llama Momma said...

Leave it to beaver IS void of all artistic expression, and yet the home I grew up in was so void of...well...that Leave it to Beaver love, that I used to watch it and imagine that June Cleaver was my Mom.

Of course, I wouldn't WANT to be that mom myself, but as a kid, didn't we all crave that kind of attention and nurturing?

L.L. Barkat said...

The family question is a big one. The line between what I do personally and what I do as someone who is connected to others I've been charged to "bring up" and "assist in life" is so thin. I do think that if my family is totally against me doing something, I have to consider that. And yet.

Martin Stickland said...

We do not get that show in the UK but we do get Dallas (not the same thing I suppose!)

Anonymous said...

I only saw Andy Griffith in reruns and I didn't care for it at all. How old are you people!!!?? ha ha ha!!!!!

L.L. Barkat said...

Btw, I have it from a good source. You are Andy Griffith. The fact that you can whistle the theme song supports the theory.

Craver Vii said...

Martin and For Now… you don’t know what you’re missing. I mean, you could probably start whistling this tune in a crowded mall or bus and get total strangers to join in the tune.

Llama Momma, there was something good and clean about that era. Things did seem more innocent and less complicated, didn’t they? Some of it was a sanitized presentation, but some of it was real.