Actor’s Devotional Excerpt August 20th

Posted: June 8, 2009 in Devotionals
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August20

 

Actor’s Devotional

 

 

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For me, getting comfortable with being famous was hard – that whole side of it, the loss of anonymity, the loss of privacy. Giving up that part of your life and not having control of it.

–Michelle Pfeiffer

 

Frederick Joseph “Fred” Flintstone has become an icon of American culture.  In 1960 “The Flintstones” burst onto American TV sets in a way we had never seen cartoons before… real life situations.  Basically the idea was to take the Jackie Gleason hit, “The Honeymooners”, and animate it.  In fact may fans of the latter will recognize the braggadocio style, the false bravado, the loud mouth arrogance, and loveable bungler, in the character of Fred.  And we loved him for being the way he was.  Working at the rock quarry on his bronto-crane for Slate Rock and Gravel Company, always trying to find some get-rich-quick scheme to better his family’s lot in life, we could all immediately identify with the blue-collar ethos that was “The Flintstones”.   But there was so much more than that to love.  Cars peddled by bare feet, pterodactyls that served as archaic airplanes, brontosaurus that served as public transportation, birds that recorded phone calls ala code-a-phone style, wild boars that served as garbage disposals, elephant trunks used for water spray nozzles, wheel enhanced turtles used as lawnmowers, small wooly mammoths used as vacuum cleaners, long beaked birds used as phonograph record players, (my personal favorite) a saber tooth tiger used as a time card punch machine, and a hundred other animals were used to mimic our modern conveniences grandsires.  Invariably, after a particularly ridiculous use of one of these spoofs was used, the animal in question would turn to the TV audience and deliver the droll line, “Eh, it’s a livin’”.  Equally well known was Fred’s wife Wilma, there best friends Barnie and Betty, there kids Pebbles and Bam-Bam, and the Flintstone’s favorite pet Dino the Dinosaur.  And of course we all remember Alan Reed.  Not ringing any bells?  Alan reed was a radio and stage actor, who eventually made his way into TV.  Having been in such classics as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Viva Zapata and The Dick Van Dyke Show he at last landed the role that would make him famous… sort of.  It was on this day in 1907 that Alan Reed, the voice of Fred Flintstone, was born.  And that is what makes him only sort of famous.  Almost any child in any generation would recognize the voice, but almost no one except a cartoon-phial would recognize Mr. Reed’s name.  I like that idea.  I like it a lot.  To be able to serve in obscurity and still be able to use the skills God has given you is an unusual but profound blessing.  For most of us in the creative arts take exception to this idea.  By virtue of what we do, we think we have something to say… and we think people ought to know who says it!  I believe that is a good thing to.  But beyond that I believe that a time spent serving in obscurity is a great blessing in that it lets us mature into healthy believers, before we are put under a spotlight.  We see this theme in Scripture repeated many times.  Don’t believe me?  How about David, beginning as a humble shepherd?  What about Samuel the prophet being born to a poor peasant couple?  What about the Kohathites?  Don’t remember them, have I pulled another Alan Reed-ism on you?  Well, that’s exactly my point.  In the entire world, there was only one place (ultimately) where a person could find God before the advent of Christ.  That place was Israel.  In all of Israel there was only one place God would be sought.  That place was the Tabernacle.  In the Tabernacle there was only one section where he resided.  That place was the holy of holies.  Inside this room God’s presence was said to rest in just one single place… the mercy seat.  The mercy seat was a type of covering for a chest called the Ark of the Covenant that held the 10 commandments, Aaron’s staff, and some of the manna that had fallen from Heaven.  This is where God chose (though of course he was everywhere else simultaneously) to dwell.  Guess whose job it was to care for the Ark of the Covenant?  The Kohathites.  These men were the ultimate model of serving in obscurity.  Everyone knows about the Ark (if for no other reason than “Indiana Jones”), and everyone has heard the stories of its mystical powers… but how many people have heard of the Kohathites?  Probably about the same number that have heard of Mr. Reed.  The next time you’re tempted to get depressed because you are playing a small part in a two-bit company, or you’re doing voice overs and no one will ever see you, or your in a costume so hideous that you don’t want anyone knowing its you… remember the Kohathites.  Maybe learning how to deal with your gifts beforehand is a good thing.  Maybe learning to deal with attention and the limelight before they mean anything is a good thing.  Maybe learning to stand and operate in the power of the Lord, rather than the power of your gifts, is a good thing.  Maybe getting to know yourself in anonymity before you go out giant killing is a good idea.  Maybe a little service in obscurity is not such a bad thing. 

 

 1 Samuel 17:32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”

 33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a boy, and he has been a fighting man from his youth.”

 34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. 37 The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” 
      Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”

 38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them. 
      “I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.

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