Saturday, October 1, 2011

Are you walking? - A reflection from Modern Family

I love the show Modern Family!  Often times is night be the funniest show out there, mostly because it brings up things that we have all seen in one way or another in our own family.  A recent episode, Phil on Wire (Season 3: Episode 3), was one that stuck out for me as a youth worker as well.
One part of the “Modern Family” is made up of a husband, wife, senior and freshman in high school daughters, and a preteen boy.  In this episode, they are addressing how do we teach our children how to handle life choices well, a topic they cover all the time.  The thing that stuck out to me as a youth worker in this episode was how the mom and dad tried to teach a lesson to their children.

The mom, on several occasions, is telling her daughters how they should handle getting along with each other and other people.  While she is doing this, we see the mom getting frustrated with the parking lot cop as the school.
Phil, the dad, and his son are seen in wonder of a movie about tightrope walkers.  Phil then decides that he must do this.  And he and his son spend the rest of the show trying to do get Phil to successfully tightrope walk across the yard.

(Spoiler) By the end, the mom is being arrested by the parking lot cop all while still trying to teach her girls about making good choices, while the dad is walking on a tightrope.

What stood out to me was this: 
How often do we as youth workers keep telling teens how to be a follower of Christ, all the while not living it out ourselves?

Think about the last time you as you, and not as a youth worker (not just because it was part of your job), but when was the last time you served because you were living out your faith… when was the last time?

I know for me, if I am honest and look back on a given week, I spend most of my time planning how to communicate how to be a follower of Christ or complaining about how some part of the church is limiting me to do so.  Instead of living out what it means to be a follower of Christ and asking others to join in. 

There are two inspiring points to leave you with from the episode that I hope challenge and encourage you: son challenges Phil, who was trying to tightrope 6 inches off the ground and failing: “Maybe that’s the problem, maybe you keep falling is because part of you knows you can fall; maybe if the wire was much, much higher you wouldn’t fall…”

After this, the mom and daughters come home to the son cheering on dad, as he walks a much higher rope, and the mom reflects: “All week long I have been telling my girls how to act instead of showing them. But not Phil, Phil could have said Alex relax don’t take everything so seriously or Hailey challenge yourself, don’t give up so easily.  But instead of talking the talk, Phil walked the walk (literally).  And isn’t that what we are supposed to do for the people we love?”

May we stop spending so much of our lives talking about faith, and raise the wire for how we live out our faith, so that those watching might be inspired to join in on the greatest story ever…