Showtime

music_city_miracle_12I had a delightful lunch with a friend who is a director for ESPN. As we were talking I noticed that my television guy used the word “show” instead of “game” when referring to the broadcast.  At first that seemed a bit strange.  He then reminded me that the game is what takes place on the field, but the show is all that appears on my television screen. Actually, the show is a great deal more than just the game.  The show is made up of such eclectic ingredients as the personalities of the broadcasters and coaches, the camera angles, the graphics, the features, the interviews, the cheerleaders, the bare chest guys painted in school colors, the mascots, the commercials, the blimp, etc.  The game is one thing, but the show is whatever my friend and his producer decide to show us.

Quite often life itself becomes a show.  The real us is one thing, but what we decide to show is often something else. For good or bad the image we decide to send out is the show. Like when we live with the compulsive desire to project the perfect image, hoping somebody will admire us, that is show. When our insecurities pound us to the point that we have to always be right and everybody else is wrong, or when we embellish ourselves — show.  When we say yes to things we really don’t want to do desperately hoping folks will like us — show.  When we bury ourselves in unnecessary debt to have things we can’t afford in order to appear better off than we actually are —- show.  When we pretend to be one thing, but we are really something else — show.

Sadly, sometimes we lose sight of where the real me ends and the show begins. The sure thing about a show is it always comes to an end. At ESPN they end the show on their own terms at a predetermined time and live happy ever after. On the other hand, in real life the show often comes to a screeching halt at the most inopportune time.  More often than not when the lights suddenly go dark on our self-directed shows nobody lives happy ever after.

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