I'm not a country music fan but I do like Randy Travis. This is from September 12, 2012.
I was on my way home from worship services this morning and as usual, I was flipping through my seven radio selections: three classic rock/pop, two sports talk, one religious, and one country music station. My tolerance is about five seconds and switch, both channels and genres. As I hit the button for 97.1 Country, I heard On The Other Hand over the airways, sounding just like it would in any honky tonk on any Saturday night. It's a pretty typical song, potential cheating along with a healthy dose of guilt and angst tossed in for good measure. The song revolves around reasons for adultery on one hand and on the other, of course, is a wedding ring. It's not one of my favorite country songs, of which there are very few, and normally I would have continued station hopping. But today, for me, it was about the singer, not the song. Is it just me or is Randy Travis in the news every other day and it's not good? It just came over the wires that his pickup truck was found abandoned in a field near Dallas. On Thursday, he was arrested for an altercation in a church parking lot. On August 7th, he was arrested for public drunkenness and threatening an officer. In February, he was charged with DWI. Needless to say, it hasn't been a terrific year for the star who sang one of the greatest songs in history, Forever And Ever, Amen. (To read my blog on the song, go to http://stevehawley.blogspot.com/2010/10/randy-travis-forever-and-ever-amen.html) Maybe he can turn it around during the rest of the year- it's obvious something is very wrong in his life right now.
Do you know what bothered me the most this week about the Randy Travis media coverage? It was his mug shot. I would have had to look twice if I didn't know it was him. It's the kind of picture that keeps shows and websites like TMZ going strong. How did someone of his stature sink to this point in life? But as I thought about it, the more I can see myself in that shot. Sometimes when I look in the mirror, my reflection is not that different. I might not look dazed or beaten up but I don't like what I see. The difference is that my mirror mug shot goes no farther than me; it never makes it to the IMAGE section on Google. How humiliating it must be to know your face has become a source of comedic routines and the brunt of jokes. And the public eats it up, whether it's entertainers or athletes or politicians or preachers. I'm not excusing anything Randy Travis has done- alcohol and cars lead to funerals- but my mistakes/sins and yours are often known only to us and our Heavenly Father. I hope His image of me isn't mug shot-like every time I sin. Hopefully, He airbrushes out all of my flaws and sees me as a perfect likeness of the One in whose image I'm made. David wrote in Psalm 34:5 that,
Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
It's easy to tell, then, that my focus is in the wrong place, on me instead of on the Lord. I'm looking in the glass instead of to our God. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13 that,
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror
I feel better now- what I see now is of little value! In the perfection that is to come, we'll all be flawless even though we leave much to be desired here. Say a prayer for Randy Travis tonight and those like him, if you don't mind. We all have our demons but to be able to battle them out of the limelight is a blessing. I thought I might show the shot I was speaking of previously but that would just be doing what the gossip columns do. Instead, I'll leave you with one of the great Coke commercials of all time, starring...... Randy Travis.
Applicable quote of the day:
"The peak of a career can only last so long. You go up and you try to
maintain it. But, it can only last so long and then you're going to go