Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Crazy, Stupid, Love.

In the recently released movie, 'Crazy Stupid Love', the lead character Cal, played by Steve Carell, is a middle-aged guy who has lost his way in many areas of his life. His wife has had an affair and at least in the mind of one new friend, it is pretty much Cal’s fault, as he has forgotten what it means to be a man. Cal meets a young hip guy who takes him on as a project and begins by addressing his numerous fashion crimes. 
As I watched the movie, this story line began to make me feel uncomfortable. Cal is firstly rebuked for wearing a suit that really is a size too big for him. I am not sure how many middle-aged guys are guilty of this, but I felt a bit uneasy watching the movie thinking about my current suit that, arguably, is a little baggy on me. I’d like to convince myself that I have lost weight, but the thought that buying a suit too large was not just an innocent mistake but rather a generational marker, did make me squirm. 
When the hapless Cal finally agrees to a makeover, he goes to meet his young trendy friend while wearing a yellow short sleeve polo shirt. Wouldn't you just know it? It looked a lot like a shirt I was planning to wear again this summer when the warm weather finally arrives. I’d always liked my yellow shirt, but somehow on Cal it looked rather pathetic. His final unforgiveable crime was that he was wearing a particular brand of white joggers with his blue jeans, which apparently unless you are the recently deceased CEO of a major computer company, is rather bad form. I sort of agreed with this and relaxed knowing that I much prefer to wear my RM Williams boots with my blue jeans. But then I remembered that before the movie we had been for a long coastal walk and although I had changed from my shorts to jeans, I had saved on time by wearing the same shoes – white joggers. I was relieved to remember that our practice of staying until all the credits are finished was probably going to save me a great deal of fashion embarrassment. 
Of course fashion is a very fickle thing. What is in today is out tomorrow. Tragically religion and faith are, for whatever reason in much of the western world, really just not a fashionable thing to be involved in. It's not what the cool people do! Mind you spirituality is okay but a personal confessional faith in a living God, expressed corporately through membership of a believing community like a church is, in the eyes of many, the ultimate fashion crime.
And that to me is the ultimate crazy,stupid reason to ignore the true and living God. To care more what men think of us than what God thinks of us is to miss out on the sort of divine love that really is unconditional and eternal. 
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  Galatians 1: 10

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