Monday, April 27, 2015

Bruce Jenner's path to peace as a woman (with video link to 70's commercial)

The earliest memories I have of Bruce Jenner are of him crossing the finish line at the Olympic Decathlon - now the famous Wheaties Box cover.  If you can remember back that far, the jingle went something like, "pour it on, pour it on, you're a champion pour it on!"

It made me want to run very fast and throw long, pointed objects.  Of course at 6 or 7 that is your job.

So fast forward a few decades and you find Bruce Jenner on a reality TV program with several narcissistic women we know as the Kardashians.  He eventually eclipses their fame by revealing that he has all along wanted to become a woman. 

Wait.  What?

Yes, even during his first marriage he divulged to his wife that he wanted to become a woman.  

And why shouldn't he?  If that is what he really wants and what will help him to feel more alive, then why shouldn't he express everything that he feels within?  

And that is the million dollar question . . . but we don't realize it.  The question really isn't a question - it is a statement of our time.  We think expression of our desires brings happiness so Jenner should become a woman if he wants . . . but is expression helping or hurting?

Did we ever stop to think of what a frail sense of person hood and well-being is linked to unrestrained expression of our desires?  Is it possible that the road to happiness is paved with the difficulty of becoming something you are not, rather than nurturing something you already are?  Like an athlete you train to conform to the goal of something you are not yet.  We too readily accept that happiness is expression of who we are rather than its denial for something greater.   

When I was about 12 years old, I remember seeing Caddyshack on TV and there were a few risque moments that looked mysteriously interesting to my 12 year old eyes.  I remember running to check out a Bible to see if it was a sin to have sex before marriage.  I read a few things that indeed clarified sex should wait until marriage.  So I watched the rest of the movie and moved on with my life.

I figured God's rhythm should trump mine.

And it is still true.  Becoming more like Christ is the pathway to being at peace with yourself - even if it means not expressing your inner desires. 

Oh and by the way, this has nothing to do with sexual identity.  Bruce has not described himself as gay.  In fact what is so refreshing about this is how it confounds interviewers to have to separate Bruce's sense of identity from his sexual proclivities.  Hmmmm . . . your identity is not bound to your sexuality . . . *scratching chin* 

So Bruce should be able to do whatever he wants - it is a free country.  God has given us freedom to do what we please, just don't think that whatever we want to do gives us happiness with the unrestrained practice of it.  I want Bruce to be at peace with himself - but will changing into a woman really do it?  I don't think so.  The path to peace isn't external, it is internal.

Romans 12:1-2 sums it up nicely:

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.   Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Check here for the Bruce Jenner commercial from the 70's.

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