Last weekend I went to a wedding. Before going I watched two episodes of the reality show Four Weddings. It is a show that has four brides attending each other’s weddings and scoring them according to dress, food, venue, and overall experience. The women do not know each other before filming the episode. The winner is the bride who receives the most points for her wedding, and the prize is a luxury honeymoon trip. With that said, when I arrived at the wedding, I started to immediately judge the venue site. It disturbed me how my experience was being tainted by a television show. It also disturbed me how judgmental I was during the whole wedding ceremony and reception looking at it through the eyes of the world. The only moments I felt at peace were when the officiate spoke about God being the center of their marriage, and when he quoted from Scripture about true love. I saw how when I am not focused on God the world is a distracting place for me.
This isn’t the first time this reality show has bothered me. When my daughter was getting married two years ago, I told my family to turn off that show because while watching it I became anxious that my daughter’s wedding would not live up to the high standards exhibited on the episodes. I found peace when my family redirected our attention back to God and our reliance back to His grace to lead us through the event.
A friend shared with me how the website Pinterest had disturbed her when she was planning a party, as she did not feel like she was planning her event to be as spectacular as the ideas she had seen on that site. Another friend shared with me how incompetent she feels sometimes when she compares her life to those on Facebook. Both of these website experiences prove to me that when we allow the world to speak to us on how to manage our events or our lives, we can be led to anxiety, frustration, and disappointment.
The spirituality of communion of life with Christ through the Blessed Mother has helped me to look at the world through the eyes of faith. To see that God is a part of everything. When I acknowledge God’s Presence in every aspect of my life I feel more peaceful during the good and bad times. God’s thumbprint is on every part of my day, so when traffic gets busy, or internet is slow, or I stub my toe – no worries, as I know God is a part of this scenario, and He only wants the best for my soul. My entrustment to Mary helps keep me focused, as Mary was always centered on God.
When I allow myself to be distracted and disturbed while watching reality shows, I can count on God showing me how my parting from His gaze brings me unrest and anxiety. This truth is highlighted when I return my attention back to Him and feel the peace of God who loves me even when I stray.
“The created world surrounding us is a voice that speaks to us. If our faith is weak, then that voice will distract us, pull us away from God, and will focus our attention on itself. As faith grows, the opposite process occurs. The outside world begins to speak of God, to focus our attention on God, to draw us to Him, to become a sign of His presence, to help us get in touch with Him, and to become a place where we encounter Him.”
Tadeusz Dajczer, The Giftof Faith, 3rd. ed. (Ft. Collins, CO: IAMF, 2012), 5.