Broken-down Poetry: Title Track: Celebrity Treatment


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Title Track: Celebrity Treatment

I hate celebrity news. I hate it with a passion. I flip the channel when Entertainment Tonight comes on. I changed my Internet homepage when CNN covered Michael Jackson’s death too long.

But I love celebrities – Christian celebrities.

I’m not referring to those B- and D-list actors like Stephen Baldwin, or American Idols who came out of the Christian closet after they won. (Four words: Jesus Take the Wheel.) No, I’m in love with Christian writers, particularly Donald Miller.

Or maybe only Donald Miller.

Don Miller is the author of the New York Times Best Seller, “Blue Like Jazz.” He’s written four other books, “Through Painted Deserts,” “Searching for God Knows What,” “To Own a Dragon” and, his most recent, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.”

I used to joke around with my Bible study leader, Ruthanne, who is Don’s age, saying that she should marry him. She said she won’t because he’s too liberal and he lives too far away.

I stopped teasing her about this because I am the one who’s going to marry Don.

I talked to my friend Jacque about this a few weeks ago, and she made me calculate how many years older Don is than me. Nineteen. I told her that he was in my 20-year limit. She told me that was gross.

Prior to this moment – the moment I realized I wanted to marry Don Miller – I thought I had a healthy fascination with this man and his writing. I read his books (only less than five times each), I read his blog, I’m his fan on Facebook, I follow him on Twitter, I want to move to his hometown. …

But one day I tweeted about his new book I preordered, how Amazon says that it won’t release for three more weeks. And Don Miller direct messaged me.

Don Miller direct messaged me.

For those who don’t use Twitter, that’s as good as an email. Don Miller thought about me for a whole five seconds of his busy life. He might as well have proposed.

Going to bed that night, with an ungodly amount of excitement, I realized that I might have a problem.

My celebrity crush phase did not end in middle school with David Duchovny (I was a big “X-Files” fan). I am in college and I am crushing over someone that is completely unattainable.

I do not know what to make of this. I want to reprimand myself for spending so much energy concerned with someone I may never meet. What’s the point of buying his book before it comes out? Does he know I did that? And who cares how I display the book or how I smell the pages and hug it like a friend?

Who am I trying to impress?

I think about when I make new friends and how anxious I am for them to like me. I choose my words carefully, I butter them up, I do favors I might otherwise do begrudgingly. When my friend Austin and I first became friends, I always offered to meet at a coffee shop closer to his house, and I would pay for my own drink.

Now Austin knows me as the biggest moocher ever. When we eat at Buffalo Wild Wings, my favorite restaurant, two-thirds of the time he or our friend Matt pays my bill.

I pride myself, not for the generosity I once brought to our friendship, but for my ability to persuade my guy friend to serve me.

What if I always treated people like celebrities? I don’t mean that I want to fawn over them like I do Don Miller, but to honor them and put them above myself.

In Romans 12:10, Paul says that we should “be willing to associate with people of a low position.” The Message paraphrase says to “practice playing second fiddle.”

Don Miller, in an interview with RELEVANT magazine, said that as a writer, he never wants to write a book that he isn’t proud of, to write something that is second-rate in his mind. But as a Christian, he says, he hopes he has the humility to do so.

I get excited – and dare I say, obsessive – when it comes to certain celebrities, or to people I feel the need to impress. But I want to be someone who honors others just because I can, just because I love them.

I want to learn to set my own desires and interests aside to serve my brothers and sisters. I want to start treating them and treating my neighbors and my enemies like celebrities.

The post was originally printed in Indiana Wesleyan University's The Sojourn newspaper.

No comments: