Come On, Man!
- Monday, January 04, 2010
ESPN Sports Network has a feature on their shows they call "C'Mon, Man!" They run clips of football players in the middle of games doing things that make absolutely no sense and are detrimental to their team. Sometimes it's the coach making the foolish decision--like facing fourth-down-and-four and "going for it" on their own 30 yard line when they are ahead in the score and the clock is winding down--and once in a while it's a fan pulling the bone-head play.
"C'mon, man" is something of a combination groan, "duh!" (remember those from 10 years ago?), and "are you kidding me?"
Tim Williams of Lacombe, Louisiana, did something truly foolish earlier this week and is paying for it dearly. (Note: I do not know the guy. This is all from the December 31, 2009, issue of the Times-Picayune.)
He had driven to the Texas line to pick up his 12-year-old daughter and bring her home. Along the way--they were on Interstate 12 just east of Baton Rouge, not more than 50 miles from home--dad and daughter decided they would play a trick on the other motorists.
What they did was to duct-tape the daughter's mouth and hands and make it look like Tim was kidnaping her.
Well, they succeeded. That's exactly what the other motorists thought when they called 911 to report them. Then, while waiting for the Louisiana Highway Patrol to arrive, other motorists boxed in the Williams' pickup truck so they could not get away.
"It's just a joke," Tim and his daughter protested.
The police did not laugh. And neither did the judge who set his bail at $3,000. The dad was charged with criminal mischief and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The daughter was charged too and released into the custody of an uncle.
Now you know why mothers don't want to let the kids go off with dad.
The rest of the world would like to shake this father and say, "C'mon, man! What were you thinking? Even if your daughter was bored--all 12-year-old girls are bored!--and even if she suggested doing this, you are supposed to be the adult in this relationship! You are the one who thinks about consequences. It's up to the adult to say, 'I don't think so, honey. Why, what if (such-and-such) happened?'"
Lately, I've been thinking about people in the Lord's work who provoke a "c'mon, man!" reaction from the rest of us.
If you are on Facebook, you know how you end up with "friends" you've never met and probably never will. At the moment, I have accummulated something like 1,500 friends. I must know a third of them. But that's fine.
The idea behind befriending people is that when you post something--usually a short paragraph of your own or a couple of lines of comments on what another person wrote--it gets read by all those people. You read theirs; they read yours.
Preachers often find that Facebook is a great way to connect with friends far and wide, to pick up great stories and quotes and sermon insights, and to hear opinions not normally expressed in their tight little worlds.
Among the preachers who are my "FB friends" (that's how they are referred to) are a few who are so right-wing and conservative as to make Newt Gingrich and Jerry Falwell grimace.
What gets my goat (aka, "irks me," "drives me up the wall") is the way one of these preachers will post a statement such as "You are either obeying the Lord in every area of your life or you are a child of Satan."
I read that and think, "C'mon man! Lighten up. Don't draw the lines so hard and fast."
Underneath that statement will come comments from people agreeing with him. "Amen, brother." "You are so right, Pastor." And the one that always does it for me, "I wish every pastor saw things so clearly."
Come on, man!
"Lord," one of the disciples said, "We saw a fellow preaching and working in your name. We told him to stop it because he's not part of our group."
Jesus said (in essence), "Well, don't do that again. If that fellow is not working against you, he's on your side." (Luke 9:49-50)
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