I know who I'd put in American Idol's bottom three this week: Lisa, Bucky, and Kevin. The last because I can't stand listening to him sing. But the first two would because they bore me. Every week I empty the trash or finish an article in TIME about radioactive nuclear waste instead of listening to their entire performance.
Last night wasn't Taylor's best night, but he sure is entertaining to watch.
I like contestants that entertain me.
My sister-in-law recently asked me how I like this season of SURVIVOR. It's okay. Actually, if it weren't for psycho Shane, I'd be bored to death. I need conflict, drama, and an occasional tantrum.
Sad to say, but I think my need to be entertained is passing over into my regular life. This past Sunday during the morning worship service I thought, "Gee, this is boring. I wonder what I should cook for lunch."
Now don't get me wrong. I don't usually go into a worship service expecting to be entertained. Actually, I usually don't. For me, Sunday morning worship is about joining with fellow Christians and singing songs to Jesus, the leader of our lives. But this past Sunday at church was...well, not about singing.
Everyone in my family will quickly admit that I can't sing. When we were dating, my husband tried to give me voice lessons. Like the guy who I sweet-talked into giving me guitar lessons, my darling future husband fired me after he learned that I couldn't read music and had no idea what musical note sounded like what. Hello, why should I have to be able to read music to play the guitar and sing camp songs?
Anyway, instead of 15-20 minutes of congregational singing, the congregation was sung to. I know some people enjoy concerts, and so do I, but only when I'm expecting a concert. And even then, if I know the words to the song (or at least enough of them), I'm going to be singing along.
The choir sang. A ladies emsemble sang. A school show choir sang most brilliantly. Who didn't sing? Me.
So I was bored. Until our pastor preached and he had a good sermon about Elijah. I even took notes and didn't doodle. Doodling for me is a sure sign I'm bored.
But have I become so predisposed to expecting to be entertained that I think I'm supposed to be entertained in church...and to be entertained in my prefered worship style?
Ouch, this self-examination is kinda hurting.
In early February I went to a RWA chapter conference in Florida. Beautiful sunny Florida where it rained every day except for the day I flew home. Anyway, a best-selling romance author spoke at a noon luncheon. Dare I say I was bored? Well, I was. After about 10 minutes of her telling about her life, I tuned her words out and began to wonder if she only gets that nervous during public speaking? Or if she is a shy person, because during our speed dating, she seemed the least...well, exciting to listen to.
But later that evening, another best-selling author spoke. Boy, was she entertaining. I could have listened to her for hours.
Some people are more naturally entertaining than others. My friend Kristen is a party in a Amazon's body. My sister-in-law is a glass of lemonade on a hot day. Both have their strength and weaknesses, but that they are different doesn't mean one is better of a person or a friend than the other.
Yet, sometimes I think our society has made "exciting" into something more than an adjective. It's a virtue. If you can't entertain us, then we'll find someone else who can. And it doesn't matter if you are really good at what you do.
Personally, I think I'd rather let Bill Gates be Bill Gates and let Clay Aiken be Clay Aiken.
We each have skills and abilities. We should them to the best of our ability to bring God the most glory. That's why I'm not in the choir and why I'm teaching a small group Bible study class of 6th grade girls.
But how do I not let everyone else's need to be entertained frustrate me?
I'm not sure.
I am, though, pretty glad that my pastor rightly divides the Word of Truth far more than he caters to anyone's need to be entertained. And I know I need to think less about how I can entertain people with my writing and think more about how I can encourage and challenge them...and occasionally entertain them as well. After all, I'm not a preacher. Thank God.
Now about my singing...