Since I write a Christian blog and not a political one, I’ve refrained from politicizing my message. But as I’ve written before, if you look hard enough you can find Jesus in the most unlikely places.
So many news stories clamor for our attention right now: the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, the latest institutional casualties in our shaky financial markets and of course the upcoming presidential election.
But one person receiving a lion’s share of the spotlight is Sarah Palin. Since the end of August when John McCain announced the Alaskan governor as his running mate “Sarah Who?” has become a household name. Already she’s been spoofed on Saturday Night Live. As testament to her popularity I searched her name in Google and received 22 MILLION results. That’s more hits than Al Gore who supposedly invented the Internet! There’s no doubt this hockey mom is a one-woman media storm.
But in the midst of the hubbub, there’s one news item you may have missed. In fact, a mini-economic crisis is upon us—and Sarah Palin is at the center of it.
The cause of it all? Her glasses.
Republican, Democrat or independent there’s one issue regarding the vice presidential nominee on which the majority agrees. We love her glasses! I suppose not since Ben Franklin invented bifocals have spectacles captured our fancies so.
Women (and even men) are flocking to their opticians in search of Governor Palin’s Kawasaki 704 series designer specs. In less than two weeks the Japanese company that manufactures the $375 frames received 9,000 global orders. That’s more than they normally produce in a year! I’m no economic analyst but there’s no way supply can meet demand. Backorders abound. According to the Wall Street Journal, manufacturing has shifted to a 24-hour production cycle.
Of course I write tongue-in-cheek, but upon closer examination there might be more here than meets the eye.
According to Gov. Palin’s optician she selected her now-famous frames from hundreds of choices. (I’ve worn glasses almost my entire life and know what a difficult decision this is!) After much searching she selected just the right pair for her—and the rest, as they say, is history.
Once the thrill of the moment passes and sticker shock sets in I imagine many of those flocking to buy Sarah Palin’s frames will regret their purchase. Something about their new glasses will be “off.” Maybe the frames won’t flatter their face shape or size, match their personality, or complement their coloring or hairstyle. Why? Because eyeglasses simply aren’t an off-the-shelf purchase. One size does not fit all. Even Gov. Palin’s glasses were custom-made specifically for her.
Sometimes we do this with our faith. We see movers and shakers in our church, bible study or favorite ministry who appear to have it all going on. They glow under the spotlight and we think they must certainly know or have something we don’t because…well…just look at them. So we not only admire their godly ways, we try to emulate them as well—to “wear” their faith. We might try to copy how they pray or how they have devotions or worship or talk, and so on. But when we do, something doesn’t fit quite right.
That’s because nothing is more one-of-a-kind than our walk with the Lord. While we can learn from our Christian brothers and sisters, we can’t mimic elements of their walk to accessorize our own. To do so is to lose sight of what God wants from us more than anything. Our hearts. He wants us to love Him with a sincere faith that’s custom-fit to our own unique personality, passion, experiences and gifts. Regardless of how popular or trendy it may be in the eyes of the world.
Have you been borrowing someone else’s faith? Do you want to be custom-fit with a prescription of your own? Do you need to fine-tune the one you have? Go to the Jesus, the One who gives sight to the blind. And when He says, “What do you want me to do for you?” respond, “I want to see.” (Mark 10:51)
As popular as they are today, Sarah Palin’s glasses will soon be yesterday’s news. Time will tell whether she will follow their fate. As much of our attention is fixed on who will lead our country come January, let’s remember politicians come and go. In one year, one decade, one century our focus will shift continually from one to the next.
But there is one leader who HAS, DOES and WILL stand the test of time.
As we set our sights on the future, let’s never forget on whom we need to fix our gaze.
By the way, if you add up all the Google hits for all four presidential and vice presidential nominees, both Clintons, Ronald Reagan, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington COMBINED, Jesus still comes out ahead.