Woodshed Wisdom

By Freeman Martin

I’d like to cast my vote for the Bumper Snicker of the week. I had to LOL when I saw it on the rear bumper of the car stopped in front of me. It was a warning printed in big bold letters, “You don’t scare me, I have children!” And that’s scary enough by itself, right?

Just listening to ‘em talk is enough to scare the bejebees out of you. But kids are kids and you just hope and pray you’ve trained ‘em right. What is that old saying – ‘true justice is when your kids have kids of their own that act just like they did.’

Have you ever watched a little girl and little boy playing ‘dress up’ where they each put on some of their mommie’s and daddy’s clothes and shoes? Nine times out of ten, they’ll re-act true-to-life situations that they have witnessed at home with their own little eyeballs! How scary is that!

But I saw something on the ‘tube’ the other night that’s even scarier. And it involved grownups that should have known better. I wanted to see what all the hullabaloo was about on this show called The American Idol. I have seen and heard a bunch of folks talking about it. They plan their week around it. They can’t wait to get home from work on whatever night it comes on. They even send text messages to vote on who they want to be ‘the next idol.’

Phyllis Diller’s line comes to mind right here. “Can we talk?” Now, I know this is television, and I’m no stranger to this make-believe ‘land of Oz.’ I see young people going on stage in front of the whole nation, sometimes in a way that would embarrass their mommas to death. For what? A chance at stardom? Their own 15 minutes of fame where today’s hot idol is tomorrow’s icy igloo?

Ok, so they didn’t have heroes like we did when we were growing up? Like Bobby Richardson, a fellow South Carolinian. Bobby made some great plays while wearing the famous Yankee pinstripe uniform. But as great as his athletic talent was, he has even greater strength of character. A true American hero.

And, you know what, I still miss seeing the impeccably dressed Tom Landry walk the sidelines for the Cowboys. And how many hounds tooth hats do you still see in the stands at Alabama football games? True American heroes that live their lives in such a way that kids can imitate.

I’ve always heard that the strength of the tree can be judged by the strength of the storm. And it’s in the spotlight of that truth that I have to get a burr out from under my saddle about this so-called idol tv show.

I heard one of the judges on that show call a contestant a name that caused us farm boys many trips to the woodshed back home at Route 4. Thank the Lord for remote controls. It didn’t take me 30 seconds to change channels to Andy and Opie after I heard this so-called judge use the ‘stupid’ word. It’s a good thing for my behind that my folks aren’t around to even see me write that word!

But here was this ‘puffed-up-like-a rice-krispie’ judge using that word on national television after a kid had just done her very best in an effort to grab the brass ring. What was he thinking anyway? Who died and left him in charge? Remember the kids’ game we used to play called ‘Simon Says?’ Guess what, I never liked it. ‘Cause sometimes what comes out of Simon’s mouth is not fit to go into the ears and hearts of kids.

I have some friends who are real-life judges. They see kids (and could I say adults, too) put themselves in embarrassing situations. But they don’t tear young people down and scar them for life like this so-called television judge did. I’ve seen real judges on their knees in front of boys. Building them up and encouraging them. And teaching good morals in youngsters’ Sunday School classes. In my book, they qualify for hero status.

I hope and pray this tv judge has his ducks in a row when he steps up to the bench of the Almighty Judge. I hope before that happens, somebody will share 1 Corinthians 13:11 with him. And he can put away his childish ways.

The real American Idols are the Mommas and Daddys and Grandmas and Grandpas and Jesus-filled preachers and teachers who lay the foundations that kids can stand on. I wish somebody would come up with a tv show to spotlight what these people do. Maybe they could call it the Great American Hero. I don’t do text votes for anything, but I’d limber up my arthritic fingers if that kind of show ever came across my tv screen.

Those are the people that kids, of any age, can imitate. When the apostle Paul was writing to the church at Ephesus, he gave us instructions on who we should imitate. Be imitators of Jesus (Ephesians 5:1-2). Since He loves us enough to die for us, shouldn’t we love Him enough to live for Him? And if you love somebody with the love of Christ, you don’t call ‘em that ‘s’ word!

‘Cause one day, sooner or later, we’re all goin’ to have to stand before the Judge. And, could I say, it won’t be a panel of judges. Just One. And He’s the true Idol of the World.

Paul makes us a guarantee in Ephesians 5:4-5. Anybody that comes before the Judgment Seat of Christ with ‘any of these things that are out of place’ is just worshipping a false idol. And that won’t get you a ticket to the Big Show. And like the BSOTW (bumper sticker of the week) says, no matter how much you huff and puff, you can’t scare Him. He’s got children.

Can I get an big Amen on that?