Going into today I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about, but after reading an article in Time this morning I feel like I know what I want to do. For those of you who don’t know, I watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor Pad/Bachelor In Paradise. I don’t remember when I started but the first season I remember seeing was Trista’s. Judge me please. I judge myself too but it’s become too much of a guilty pleasure that I can’t stop. Haha. Seriously the amount of pleasure I get from watching this stuff is unnatural. Second only to the hilarious tweets people write about it. Anyway. Apparently they announced the new Bachelor, Chris, on Good Morning America this morning and I don’t think anyone was surprised despite the delay in announcing it at the close of Andi’s season. He was too nice, family-oriented, and dare I say…too normal not to be chosen. What I didn’t know was that Arie–a contestant from Emily’s season hoped to be picked. Now I know this might not mean anything to most of you guys–especially if you have never watched these shows but Arie is beautiful. He’s a beautiful man. He has a beautiful smile and beautiful eyes and I feel like he’s the kind of guy that if you tried to talk to in person–you might black out. That’s all you need to know to track with me on this.
So then I stumble across this article on Time and Arie is talking about reading the Bible. WHAT? That was exactly my reaction. In the midst of season after season of people making out with strangers they just met in the ocean tide and on boats and ugly-crying during elimination, in this moment the Heavens parted, because Arie is here, single, and talking about the Bible.
So picture me feverishly reading this article now until I reach this part:
It was an old Bible that looked like it had been in his family for years. I could tell someone had read that thing, because the pages were worn and certain passages were underlined, and he held it like a prized possession. He wrote in the front, saying he was giving the book to my mechanic and me.
“Take it so you don’t forget what you learned this weekend.”
“Are you sure you want me to have it?” I asked, touched by his selfless act.
That book came along with me as I traveled from that point on. In fact, the Bible sat next to me in the front seat of Betsy (yes we named our race hauler). It began to change me as I read it at night before going to sleep, though sometimes I felt I needed help understanding. Regardless, I knew there was powerful stuff in there. The Bible comforted me as I traveled from place to place… sometimes it was hard to keep track of where I was or where I was going. – http://time.com/3071743/arie-the-bachelor/
Wow. Here’s this guy who I don’t know outside of this often-ridiculous empire of a show and he’s throwing down some real talk now. The human part of me is like YES! now it’s officially okay that I was terribly attracted to him even though he was on a reality show, but the Christian part of me is also like OMG! I wish I could give him a Message bible or something. Right? Literally the only passage from Psalms he quotes is from the King James Bible. For most people it is literally the hardest language to read and comprehend. So on one hand I’m super impressed that he’s reading this thing day in and day out, but I also want to shout out that there are other versions! Sorry King James.
I’m writing all of this to say that reading this article was so encouraging. It’s hard to always take the show seriously even though there has been success stories and some couples are married and still together. I mainly watch it for entertainment value, and to sympathize with the normal ones that find their way onto the show, but deep down I think the show itself is unapologetically human. We all want to find love. We all want to be chosen. We all worry that we’re not enough or that we did something wrong and now we’re doomed to be alone. But this time, it also brings up faith, and how ultimately it’s good to want romance. God created us to want love and to show love, but ultimately above everything He wants our love for himself. As corny as it sounds, I’m going to go there, but Jesus was and is the ultimate Bachelor because He wants us to accept His gestures, His pursuits of us, His affection–His “rose”. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:
Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG)
I’ll show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
Romans 8:37 (MSG)
31-39 So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God’s chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:
They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We’re sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.
None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I’m absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us.
Isaiah 43 (MSG)
When You’re Between a Rock and a Hard Place
43 1-4 But now, God’s Message,
the God who made you in the first place, Jacob,
the One who got you started, Israel:
“Don’t be afraid, I’ve redeemed you.
I’ve called your name. You’re mine.
When you’re in over your head, I’ll be there with you.
When you’re in rough waters, you will not go down.
When you’re between a rock and a hard place,
it won’t be a dead end—
Because I am God, your personal God,
The Holy of Israel, your Savior.
I paid a huge price for you:
all of Egypt, with rich Cush and Seba thrown in!
That’s how much you mean to me!
That’s how much I love you!
I’d sell off the whole world to get you back,
trade the creation just for you.
5-7 “So don’t be afraid: I’m with you.
I’ll round up all your scattered children,
pull them in from east and west.
I’ll send orders north and south:
‘Send them back.
Return my sons from distant lands,
my daughters from faraway places.
I want them back, every last one who bears my name,
every man, woman, and child
Whom I created for my glory,
yes, personally formed and made each one.’”
8-13 Get the blind and deaf out here and ready—
the blind (though there’s nothing wrong with their eyes)
and the deaf (though there’s nothing wrong with their ears).
Then get the other nations out here and ready.
Let’s see what they have to say about this,
how they account for what’s happened.
Let them present their expert witnesses
and make their case;
let them try to convince us what they say is true.
“But you are my witnesses.” God’s Decree.
“You’re my handpicked servant
So that you’ll come to know and trust me,
understand both that I am and who I am.
Previous to me there was no such thing as a god,
nor will there be after me.
I, yes I, am God.
I’m the only Savior there is.
I spoke, I saved, I told you what existed
long before these upstart gods appeared on the scene.
And you know it, you’re my witnesses,
you’re the evidence.” God’s Decree.
“Yes, I am God.
I’ve always been God
and I always will be God.
No one can take anything from me.
I make; who can unmake it?”
Colossians 1:15-20 (MSG)
Christ Holds It All Together
15-18 We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
18-20 He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
Ephesians 1:11-14 (MSG)
11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
I could say so much more but that’s just a teaser. I’m just blown away by God right now. Blown away that what started as me watching a silly show, turned into this guy’s journey to find God, an article, and now a publicized curiosity for Him to embark on His own spiritual journey. If anything I’m pumped for Arie. So pumped! As naive as it might sound I want to pray right now that He continues to be open to all the things God wants to show and tell Him. I want him to know that God pursues him. Arie might be a professional car racer, but He is surpassed by the Hound of Heaven. God is so crazy for him, for all of us, that no matter how far we run, or drive away, He is already there. He beats us to our destination every time. He holds all the records for speed. Not because of anything we’ve done but it’s His very nature – which is love – He wants to have a relationship with us. I just love the idea of people going on this show, looking for love, and finding the greatest Love of all. It’s just blowing my mind today. God is faithful. God is amazing.
Psalm 23 T(MSG)
A David Psalm
23 1-3 God, my shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
you find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through
I’m not afraid
when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
5 You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
6 Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.
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