Friday, January 10, 2014

Those in Need

There are a lot of these people. You could almost argue that everyone is in need of something. Lately, I've found myself getting into listening to various podcasts and such. It's an interesting scene, that of the internet celebrity. Specifically, I listened to a podcast by a comedian named Chris Hardwick that goes by the title of Nerdist. The last episode that I listened to was one in which Chris and his guests (Jonah Ray, Matt Myra, and Chloe Dykstra) were reflecting on what had happened over the past year. Now, I think a lot of what I say is a general reflection and reaction to this specific episode, but I think that it would also be a good reflection in general, well perhaps a reflection of people in the modern media who are oft influential in modern media (or just very visible in general to the public).

Now, I don't necessarily consider myself to have enough nerd-credit to be the main demographic target of the Nerdist podcast. Though arguably part of me kind of feels that anyone watching their shows and listening to their podcast is their target demographic. These celebrity type personalities certainly put a lot of hard work and effort into producing some very high quality productions, and I really appreciate the dedication they have to making sure that what is put out for the public ear (podcasts) and eye (YouTube) are both well thought out and produced, regardless of what I may think of some of the content.

In the most recent episode of Nerdist that I did listen to and hearing the reflections and reactions of the hosts to personal events of the past year, I would first off like to express my respect and admiration for their courage and frankness in addressing and discussing some very personal life events, which, despite their celebrity status and overall media visibility, quite honestly, some would consider none of our business, as merely end-users enjoying the entertainment service that they put out.

It was an interesting listen, and I don't mean to downplay the gravitas and personal impact that the events of the year 2013 had on each of the hosts. While they were discussing, I noted a large amount of discussion and focus on the concept of finding peace and happiness and how we need to make that for ourselves and how we are going through and figuring out this life. Now, I know I'm probably not necessarily doing the depth of their discussion justice, each individual certainly went through a lot, and I don't necessarily want to completely rehash everything they said here, but overall, I felt that this was the general trend of the discussion that they had. It was an interesting listen because as self-proclaimed "nerds" these would be people that generally consider themselves at the very least well-informed if not educated and intelligent.

Now I don't know the personal beliefs of these "nerd" celebrities, or at least they have not been openly professed on anything I have heard, but of course, I can't say that I've listened to everything they've put out, however, from what I have heard, their attitude towards Christianity would seem to be hostile or at best indifferent. I would imagine that each of them may have had a limited or perhaps unpleasant encounter with Christianity, though I cannot say for sure. That being said, it was interesting listening to each of them share regarding the past year and what their hopes were for the upcoming year (2014), because as they discussed their search for fulfillment, peace, and happiness, the thought that I had constantly coming into my mind was that, "These people could really use Jesus."

I know that sounds trite and perhaps almost kind of cliched, but honestly it's really that simple. Jesus has promised to give us peace (John 14:27), joy (Matthew 25:21), and fulfillment (Psalm 145:16). It seems simplistic and I think that part of it is. I think part of my response to this podcast is the consideration of how these very visible personalities are very much people just like you and I. Perhaps more well known, definitely better-looking, funnier, more talented, however you want to look at it, but still people nonetheless, people in need. In need of love, in need of peace, in need ultimately of the Gospel. Are they being reached?

I don't know that I am in a place to reach them, but at the very least am I praying for them? Am I praying for the people I am reaching out to? Who am I reaching out to? These are all questions that I think are important to be constantly considering in my daily walk. We often are quick to condemn the product put out by the media as bad influences on us, calling us to be more worldly, materialistic, self-sufficient, and often we are right to call them out, because they do indeed have these influences on us. However, that being said, there are still people behind there, so where is my heart for those who have not heard? Where is my heart for those in need of the saving grace of Christ? It starts with those around me, but where does it stop? I don't believe that it should.

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