God Is Not A Tinky-Doodle

I have always preferred real people to fake ones. This woman was genuine indeed. The Fruit Vendor, original painting by Steve Henderson, sold.

I don’t do reality shows. They’re fake.

That being said, Tired of Being Youngest dragged the Norwegian Artist and me to the couch to watch MasterChef, with Gordon Ramsey and his two sidekicks, both of whom look, and act, like bouncers in a casino.

“This man is amazing,” TBY, who is halfway through her culinary program, proclaims. Believe me, darling, he knows it.

Me? I’m thinking, “I don’t want my precious child on this program, ever, in front of this overweeningly arrogant trio of . . . of . . .

unkind, far-too-impressed-with-themselves, tinky-doodles.

This is, after all, a family friendly blog.

Like all reality shows, MasterChef operates on the same principle: take a group of ordinary people, put them in a situation over their head, play upon their insecurities, encourage each of them to treat one another badly, verbally and emotionally abuse them, tantalize them now and then with the remote possibility of your approval, and rip them apart in front of the camera.

The judges reign supreme.

All human beings are made in the image of God, which means that all human beings are extraordinary. Diaphanous — original painting at Steve Henderson Fine Art; licensed, open edition print at Great Big Canvas.

In one scene, Joe Bastianich, one of the tinky-doodles, spits out what’s in his mouth, tosses the dish in the garbage, and announces,

“You’re wasting my time.”

How odd. I’m pretty sure he’s paid well for the time he spends on this show.

Okay, okay, so I don’t have to watch this stuff. There are other ways to bond with Tired of Being Youngest. The problem is, too many people, not just TBY, watch shows like this, and the more of it they watch, the more they internalize what it propounds as being normal — berating people, putting them on the spot, encouraging others to put them down (“Who do you think will be the next person out?”), verbally haranguing them and expecting them to answer, politely, “Yes, Chef; No, Chef.”

It reminds me of a scene I observed in a real courtroom, in which the judge orally assaulted the plaintiffs, who had no choice but to answer, “Yes, Your Honor; No, Your Honor.” Believe me, the term “Your Honor” was definitely misapplied.

Being a judge is a serious responsibility, and while it’s a heady experience to control who gets to wear the apron or who pays an exorbitant fine or who gets their children taken away and where, it’s pretty easy to let that heady experience go to one’s head.

Thank God He does give it to us every day — Grace, that is. Give Us This Day, Grace poster by Steve Henderson.

Is God that way?

Mercifully, no. While too often human judges play God, God in reality doesn’t imitate human judges.

It’s popular, within contemporary society, to denigrate God as being unfair because of all the suffering in the world, but if you want to be fair about the whole thing, it’s wise to look at who is actually causing the suffering. Who is lying, stealing, embezzling, conniving, hurting — pretty much for the sake of achieving power and/or money. Not God. He’s All Powerful, and He owns everything anyway.

Years ago, when Eldest Supreme was 7, she wanted to play Monopoly. Fifteen minutes into the game, it became obvious that she was going to go down before me and the Norwegian Artist. In one of those telepathic parenting moments, we came up with a new way of playing the game:

“Let’s see how long we can keep EVERYONE in this game!” we announced. Through loans, gifts, and forgiveness, we kept at it for two hours, and we didn’t flatten our child’s joy. We all won.

So that doesn’t make a good reality show. I get it. The tinky-doodles don’t come out on top, and we don’t all laugh — uncomfortably — at their barbs.

We teach best by example, not by tearing down. Into the Surf, original painting by Steve Henderson sold; licensed open edition art print at Great Big Canvas

But the people with the power — the parents in this case — chose to use that power for good: to encourage, to teach, to be merciful with someone who was smaller and less experienced than they. We didn’t need to put our child down so that we could build ourselves up.

I am so glad that, when time ends and we stand before the Ultimate Judge, we will not be on MasterChef.

The artwork in this article is by my Norwegian Artist, Steve Henderson. Find Steve’s artwork in the following formats at the following links:

Manufacturers and retailers, license Steve’s art through Art Licensing.

Available in paperback and digital.

Do you know why I’m so passionate about ordinary people? Because I’m one of them. As a homemaker, I raised four children on the Norwegian Artist’s modest salary, and I know what it feels like to make ends meet. We own our home, our car, our land, and our business, and we did it without living like weird people. Like us, you can Live Happily on Less, making your resources stretch to fit your life and your lifestyle. Available at Amazon.com in both paperback and digital format.

This post is linked to Michelle Derusha, Just Sarah DawnTime Warp WifeTeaching What Is Good, The Character Corner, Walking Redeemed, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, A Little R & R Deep Roots at Home, My Joy Filled LifeWholehearted Home, Hope in Every Season, Raising Homemakers, Simply Helping Him, Katherine’s Corner, Rens Family Blog, Happy and Blessed Home, Graced Simplicity, Jenny Mullinix, Essential Thing Devotions, All Our Days, Fellowship Fridays, Bible Love Notes, Missional Woman, Moms the Word, The Better Mom


14 Responses

  1. Wonderful as always! I love it- and it was a good reminder for me personally. Thank you for joining me at Thrilling Thursday once again- I’m thrilled whenever I see you link up!

  2. I loved your story and admire your wisdom to allow everyone to win at Monopoly! My husband had to instruct me (whisper in ear) Hazel please don’t always win. It is a learning experience and fun for the children to win usually. As time goes by thy will learn soon enough that life is sometimes cruel. That TV show would certainly get turned off at my house. I do not like those type of put down shows. I found your story at TGIF

    1. Oh, Hazel — you must be just like me! My competitive nature comes out — STRONGLY — in games, and I surprise myself at how ruthless I can be. I’m so glad that I’m not alone in this, and maybe someday, we can sit on the porch and chat. Not, not, not play Monopoly, or any competitive game (although, maybe, cribbage? No betting. Just gentle fun), but just sitting on the porch with a nice, non-competitive cup of tea. — Carolyn

    1. Thank you, Mel, for the link up. God’s grace. Such a difficult concept to wrap my mind around — sometimes I have to sit in a very quiet room and just THINK, really really hard. Other times, I let my mind relax so that it can accept thoughts without thinking them into quivering submission. I consistently find our relationship with the people we love, especially young children, to be a means of greater understanding about God’s love for us. I’m so glad He puts children into this world.

  3. Wonderful post! Like you, I find it sad that people subject themselves to public humiliation and torture and that they feel this is okay. Thank you for linking up with me last week! I hope you’ll be back!

    1. Thank you, Rosalind. The public humiliation thing is sad, as you say, and the acceptance of it as normal seems to be increasing. That, too, is sad. So those of us who don’t think so continue to not think so and to say what we think, hoping that our words will make a small difference and encourage people to stand up for their dignity and worth as human beings.

      Thank you for having me at your link-up, and yes, I plant to be back! — Carolyn

  4. I love your blog nicknames for your children. So cute! My brother-in-law used to play board games with his children. But he couldn’t stand losing so he cheated. A grown man cheated!

    I have to admit that this is wrong to me, but his children learned from it. Unfortunately they learned that dad cheats but they also learned not to play board games with him! 😉

    Thanks for linking up to the “Making Your Home Sing Monday” linky party! 🙂

    1. Momstheword — Thank you for the head’s up — I will never play board games with your brother-in-law!

      The competitive nature is fascinating — we all have it, to some degree, and how strongly we have it determines how we approach things.

      Years ago I commented to a friend, “Well, I would do that, but I’m not particularly competitive.”

      “You!?” she snorted. (she actually snorted.) “You’re extremely competitive.”

      I was shocked, but as I thought it over, I realized that she was right. I am very, very competitive, and while it’s a good trait because it impels you to keep going and do better, it can quickly overrun you.

      I have spent the years intervening trying to learn to control my competitive nature, and not allow it to control me. Thank you for hosting the blog party; I am honored to be a part of it. — Carolyn

Comments are closed.