In the spirit of MCQ’s focus on resolutions, I refer to this scriptural passage:
Mark 10:17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none agood but one, that is, God.
19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
I think about this encounter from time to time (when I feel like torturing myself). The burn of realization the poor guy must have felt when he hit that wall– just because he couldn’t let go of that one thing. The story cuts me deep because I’ve got at least a few walls in my own life. I have an unbridled tongue, I’m impatient, I will every once in a while run to the store on a Sunday ’cause “the ox is in the mire…” These I’m not so worried about tackling. I’d put them up on the resolution altar with little hesitation.
The most conspicuous, nagging wall that stands high and wide before for me, though– the one I acknowledge should be a piece of cake to overcome, but I just refuse to– is restrict myself from R-rated movies. Despite the countless directives over the pulpit to remove them from our lives, I’m just not prepared to do that. I’ve loved movies from my youth– saw my first “R” when I was 12, “The Godfather.” Such a restriction for me would be like the one my doctor already condemned me with– no meat or dairy. It just sucks.
Part of me says (to myself) that this is more of a guideline than a commandment– and we don’t get points taken away from guidelines, do we? I also say I’m a member in good standing: I go to church every Sunday, settle my tithing at 100% every year, go to the temple every month,do my home teaching. It’s not like the movies possess me with dark hues or control my behavior. I don’t even hear the swear words unless my daughter is nearby. And it’s not like I’m irresponsible or indiscreet about it. Movies like “Saw” or “Hostel” or even Tarantino films, make me uncomfortable. My threshold’s right about where Joe Pesci is doing his, “What? How am I funny? Am I a clown, do I @#%*## amuse you?” I contend that some of the best thrillers, mysteries and action flicks out there are R-rated, and I’m not going to miss them because of a word or a particularly bloody bullet wound, or because a politically-driven committee decided to slap the letter on them. There are worse PG films that I avoid.
So, go ahead, say it: Methinks he doth protest too much. Maybe. I’m just trying to state my case here. Practice for when I’m praying to the Lord, going down my laundry list of all the wonderfully obedient things I’ve done and he whispers back, “One thing thou lackest…”
All right, yeah. I know, eventually I’m going to have to cut them out– I’m not that deluded. Just not this New Year’s, not yet. Let me cross that plane of righteousness when I’m about, say, 75… or… *sigh*…before…
I’m sure I’m not alone. I’ll bet a lot of others have pet foibles they’re not quite prepared to sacrifice January 1– or anytime soon. Energy drinks… watching football on Sunday… reading fluff novels, or… R-rated movies?
Eh, no… it’s probably just me.