I enjoy watching reality/competition shows. It all started with "The Amazing Race." When I was house-hunting, my realtor and I became friends after we discovered we had similar educational backgrounds and interests. (That may be a fib. I think we became friends about 30 seconds after we initially shook hands.) Anyway, he got me into watching "The Amazing Race" because he said he enjoyed watching how the teams of people work together, how they communicate, how they deal with stress, etc. We were soon exchanging emails about the show: our reactions, teams we liked and didn't, how we thought people had grown and learned (or not). ...and that's pretty much the lens through which I watch all those shows. Half interested in the competition at hand, but very interested in the dynamics of the people.
There's one show in particular that I watch, not really for the contestants, but for the judge. Have you ever seen The Apprentice? Donald Trump is something else. Sometimes (many times?) his boardroom decisions seem petty and arbitrary. There was one episode in this current season when he fired a contestant, not for doing anything wrong, but because he felt they should have been Project Manager. This opinion wasn't shared by anyone else. His teammates felt he brought a lot to the challenge, that he performed well and in line with his strengths. But Mr. Trump clamped down on that one thought and wouldn't let it go. It was fascinating to watch. As usual, after the firing his asks his board room helpers if he did the right thing. And they both said yes and came up with reasons, but I think it was pretty obvious that they were a little confused too. Stuff like that happens all the time on The Apprentice.
As I was waging war against the bushes outside my house, I found myself mulling over this show. While Mr. Trump certainly holds contestants accountable if they lose or under perform, his final decisions are all over the place. And after trying to find sense, I had to simply concede the point. He's not really choosing the best or the worst, he just wants to make it a good show. He's creating a dynamic and a storyline. And in the world of the show, no one else's opinion really matters. You can make everyone happy. But if Donald Trump isn't happy (for whatever reason), you're in trouble. And if he is happy (for whatever reason), you're safe.
Jesus is a little bit like Donald Trump that way. I can do everything right and make everyone around me happy, but if I miss that one important thing...it doesn't matter. And on the flip side, everyone around me might be against me and think I've got nothing to offer, but if Jesus is pleased with what I've done...it doesn't matter. He measures with different perspective, and with a different scale. He isn't swayed by public opinion. I certainly don't always understand why he does the things he does, or allows the things he allows.
But one thing I do know: he's telling a story, and he knows exactly where he's going with it.