Spooky season is almost finished, which means this is our finale to the b-movie series here on the blog. Today, since I like to keep you on your toes, we will not be looking at a movie, but a TV show, and a specific episode. The Twilight Zone, created by Rod Serling (who also narrates each episode), sets a spooky tone in every episode with wild scenarios, all based in real issues we deal with. The episode we will be looking at today is titled, “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” the setting takes place in a suburban neighborhood and suddenly a flash in the sky appears and everything stops working. The neighbors gather in the street confused about the power outage and strange flash, and a little boy suggests it could be aliens infiltrating the neighborhood. Panic starts, then fingers are pointed at one another power comes on in certain houses, driving the people to become more and more untrusting of one another. The anger leads to a death, then the street erupts into chaos.
The final moment of the episode shows two aliens watching these events, and they simply say that all they need to do to conquer earth, is create confusion and the humans will destroy themselves.
One of the biggest tropes in horror films, is when the gang decides to split up. Almost every classic b-slasher movie has a moment where the teenagers decide it’s a better idea to split up and go get help, and we as the viewers want to scream at the screen because we know this is the worst idea! I always think of the Friday the 13th series, because they all pretty much follow the same formula. Jason shows up and then everyone else runs in the opposite direction, just not together. It becomes a free for all and doesn’t end well for pretty much anyone, until the end when the final people figure out a way to stop the mad man. We watch this and get so frustrated, asking ourselves, why wouldn’t they all just work together to stop this killer? The truth is though, that we ourselves do this same thing.
This season has been absolutely wild. From a pandemic, injustices, natural disaster, as well as the personal struggles we all face can be taxing on our mental health. It can be easy in the midst of our struggles to feel alone. There was a very distinct feeling of isolation a few months back, and even still limited interaction causes some fear. One of the hardest battles, is dealing with mental health alone. I’ve written in the past about my own struggle with anxiety, and the worst part was feeling alone. You can know that others struggle, yet at the same time, feel like no one can possibly understand your pain. What I found was, that I needed to be vulnerable with others, and the truth I found, was that I am fully known and loved.
This past week, dear Danielle and I celebrated being married for two years. It’s been such a wild journey so far. From job changes to moving a long way from home, it feels like it’s been so much longer than two years. I’m thankful to be on this journey, and reflecting on everything, it’s put a new perspective on life. We’re all facing different seasons right now, for some of us, this pandemic has tested us in some tough ways. At the same time, it feels like many distractions were cut away, revealing to each of us what we truly value. It’s an important question to ask ourselves.
What do I value?
What do I need to rearrange to form a new rhythm?
Hey there. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written here. Life decided to get all sorts of crazy. I feel like this has been the year of tests for all of us. I got called back to work, and really haven’t been excited to head back when there are still so many unknowns about this pandemic. We all then, also face personal choices and issues that come up in our lives. In all of these moments, life gets really tough. We don’t know how to react, what to feel, or how we can’t make it out.
The thing I keep clinging on to and the thing that keeps my head above water is this; joy.
Life gets really tough sometimes. There are days were you just can’t take it anymore. I’ve had a lot of time to think, just like many of you have during this time of social distancing, and I’ve thought about the events that have led me to where I am now. Looking back, I’ll be honest, there have been a ton of times where I wanted to quit. To just give up and let go. In high school, I knew God was calling me to be a pastor, it’s the clearest voice I have heard. I had a passion to help people and a passion to help young people especially step into who God made them to be. From that moment I felt very weird, I am still so passionate about it, but when I have pursued it, I get push back.
Maybe you have been met with similar pushbacks, you might not have enough experience, might be too young or too old in the eyes of the person in charge, or maybe you’ve been told you don’t have the right x-factor or cool enough. I’ve faced these exact same challenges, but in it, god has been with me. He always reminds me:
Never give up.
“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
This scripture keeps coming into my mind.
In every season it feels like there always comes a crossroads. A time where decisions need to be made and the next chapter will begin with whatever choice is made in this moment. I’ll be honest, in my life, these decisions aren’t comfortable and often are the result of hurt. I think about how in college, I was interning and it felt like the next steps were so clear, that I would just continue into that path. That wasn’t the case, life often has a way of shifting and moving, and most of the time it’s not the way I would like. So often I used to write and preach about how God’s plan is so much better, yet during these same times I had my plan all mapped out. Things just made sense, but the truth is, God’s plan is so much better, it just means that we have to get uncomfortable to take a leap.
Culture has a hard time listening. Every day we have messages bombarding us from all over the place. We are glued to our phones, checking notifications and refreshing apps to see what everyone is doing. The TV is typically just on, endlessly playing Netflix. It just gets tough. With all the noise in our lives, we rarely have quiet moments. Even now, as I write this, I find myself looking at my phone. It’s so frustrating, it’s time to stop and learn to listen. I laugh at myself sometimes. Okay, a lot of times, because I tend to do silly things. I’ll get sucked into a TV show that isn’t even that good and then know waaay too much about it (Shouts out to Vampire Diaries and its’ nonsense). I also do things that are a bit more ridiculous. I’m in a season of some unknowns and having to trust God, and many times I find myself saying, “I just can’t hear God.” The truth is, and this truth is the same for you as well, I’m not allowing myself time to listen.
Good story makes all the difference. Have you ever gone to a movie where it just felt off? One of my favorite things is to watch really bad movies, or “b-movies,” and laugh at the ridiculous nature of it. We love good story. It’s the reason why we watch movies and read books, and find ourselves heartbroken, exhilarated, and connected to characters who aren’t even real. This past week, my wife, Danielle and I had a chance to go on our official honeymoon to Harry Potter World and Walt Disney World. It was absolutely incredible. Throughout the trip I kept wondering why I was connecting to the environment on a deep level. Yes, it was fun and a great experience, but there was something more. Something I was quite getting, then it hit me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of passion recently. Passion is an intense desire, something that almost cannot be controlled. It’s something that drives you, moves you, and causes you to fight for it daily. Events in my life have made me evaluate what I am truly passionate about; it has caused to me look at the why behind who I am. As a Christ follower, I am called to something greater. Passion and calling go hand in hand. Each of us have a calling, each of us have been created with a powerful purpose. There is no one like you, you are an original, a masterpiece created in the image of a savior. Take a moment and think about what drives you. What makes you excited during the day, what do you cling to in the midst of hardship, what could you never go another day without pursuing? I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of passion recently.