Friday, September 02, 2011

TV Stories -- Fact or Fiction?

My daughter sometimes will beg, borrow or buy a complete DVD collection of a TV series, and watch them consecutively over a period of time. Recently, the TV series has been “Grey’s Anatomy”.

GA is a medical drama that features the usual life and death struggle involving doctors, “code blues,” cancer and other medical conditions. It also involves the private lives of the doctors. It seems to involve – as much as I can tell not doing the consistent, sustained viewing they do – their individual pursuit of happiness. Mostly, the happiness seems to be derived from pursuit of love and relationships.

(In typical TV drama fashion, everything is stretched and skewed a bit to add to the emotional intensity. It goes beyond normal living as all fiction must do. One of the powers of stories is they take us outside of normal life. They highlight and emphasize aspects and perspectives of life so we see them and experience them in new and different ways. Perhaps even a cleaner and fresher way. Perhaps to understand them better. Probably this is one reason why Jesus told parables.)

I was struck recently by the doctors on GA. They spend a large amount of time wrestling with medical demons, focused intently on the good of their patients. Then, they spend another large amount of time trying to get their lives and their relationships organized correctly to their greatest personal satisfaction. There seems to be an extremely high amount of “What’s in it for me?” And “I’m going to look out for number one, no matter which of my doctor colleagues I trample on.”

I don’t think GA is inherently evil. These types of attitudes can be found everywhere, including the church. So, it is being honest with the human condition. But I do find myself asking questions.
  • Are we all so pre-occupied with ourselves?
  • Is this focus what God had in mind when he designed us?
  • Granting that relationships and love are vitally important, is there a better way to pursue life?
  • If Jesus is our model for life, is this how he pursued life?

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