When Things Are Confusing and Bleak, Looking for Shirley Temple and Are We Refocusing?


Shirley Temple in Glad Rags to Riches, 1933

2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.

3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.

4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.

6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.

7 And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.

8 And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.

~ 1Ki 19:2-8

Elijah was at the top of his game.  He had seen God perform many miracles during his ministry, but there was nothing that could beat his experience at Mt Carmel.  God answered his prayers, and fire (lightning, perhaps) fell down and consumed the sacrifice at the altar, the wood that was under it, the water that had doused it, and even the stones that made up the altar itself.  He then defeated the prophets of Baal, all 450 of them.

That was not all!  He then prayed seven times for it to rain, and it did, breaking a 3-1/2 year drought (Lk 4:25; Jas 5:17; the third year in 1Ki 18:1 refers to his stay in Zarephath).

Yet, it all came tumbling down quite suddenly.  How often are our highest highs followed by our lowest lows?

Times like that, we can feel like we need a Shirley Temple.

Where Are the Shirley Temples?

I’m not talking about the drink, of course.  Life Hope & Truth points this out as well in “What Can We Learn From the Life of Shirley Temple?”  Many commentaries have been written about her life and death, but I believe this was the best I’ve read.

Many have pointed out that she became famous during the Depression.  She was a distraction from the trials of the country at the time.  However, as the LH&T article points out, she was much more than that.  She gave a positive message, and yet didn’t shirk from the realities of life either.

She was not just a child star — she was the first child star.  She was the trailblazer.  After her popularity declined, she became a wife and mother.  Her first marriage, before she retired from film, did not work out, but she withdrew from film completely around the time of her second marriage to Charles Alden Black.

She tried her hand at television for a while, and then she entered politics.  She was still service minded, and was appointed to the UN during the Nixon era, and then Ambassador to Ghana in 1974.  It was 1972 when she gained national attention once again when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  She waited until after a mastectomy, but she announced it to the world, something that was unusual at that time.  She was one of the pioneers in bringing public awareness to this disease.

You know, being a child star is never easy, but in Shirley Temple’s day, an actor had to sing and dance as well as act.  While there are no perfect people, they at least had to be well rounded in some respect in order to be able to get the available parts.  Where is this discipline today among actors, let alone child stars?

When I look at the current crop of scantily clad, twerking, cussing, drug taking, “gangsta”, self-entitled child stars today, it is no wonder to me why the LH&T article asks, “Where are the ‘Shirley Temples’ today?”

However, that is just the tip of the iceberg, isn’t it?

United Sodom of Gomorrah

If interacting with people who are so focused on themselves that they totally work against you isn’t depressing enough in life, then watching the country around you destroy itself is enough to push you over the edge at times.

And, when I say “destroy itself”, I don’t mean like being a klutz and accidentally shooting one’s self in the foot, either.  I mean hell-bent and determined to do so.

Jesus said that tribulation was like labor pains.  It starts out sort of mild and with long spaces between contractions, but then the pains increase and the contractions come closer and closer together until they speed up with fierceness.

How fast have the morals gone down the toilet just in the past five years?  Gay marriage is only one issue, but even our critics have to admit it is a telling one.  It is one of the last barriers after fornication was made OK by the pill and then no fault divorce blasted what little was left of the traditional marriage.  Let’s fact facts: Traditional marriage has been under attack for a very long time, and it is a surprise that it has lasted as long as it has given the determination for everyone to do what is right in their own eyes.

This week alone, the media has portrayed:

  • One man proposing to another right during the early morning broadcast and kissing each other on camera.
  • A news story about some idiot who is suing its employer because its employer keeps calling it a “her”, but it refuses to tell its employer whether it is a male or female.  It wants a new pronoun to be made up for it.
  • The fourth state court ruling outlawing same-sex nonrecognition in spite of the law being put into place lawfully by the vote and will of the people.  Granted, we are a republic and not a democracy, but we can just pitch the entire notion that our leaders represent the will of the people any longer.  It isn’t even representative any longer.  Welcome to the new dictatorship, represented by the will of the politically correct who will oppress any and all who disagree or even voice disagreement.
  • Governor Mitt Romney was asked about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration pursuing legislation against homosexuals.  Romney touts himself as a “Christian”, supposedly at least in the sense that he would promote family values.  He touts himself as a “conservative”.  He took the opportunity to attack Putin rather than uphold the sanctity of the family.  It seems to me that it is the Mormon position on marriage that should show what a slippery slope it is to redefine marriage — not once, but twice.

We might remember the era of Shirley Temple, that is the time of the Great Depression, as a simpler and more moral time, but that glosses over an inconvenient fact.  It came right at the end of the “Roaring 20s”, a time of rebelliousness, decadence and overindulgence.

If we have learned nothing else from the Great Depression, it shouldn’t be what a moral or innocent time it was, although admittedly it was quite tame compared to today.  No, the lesson should be that everyone doing what is right in their own eyes has consequences.

God’s Timing

Of course, everything will be settled, but it will be in God’s timing not ours.  That is every Christian’s hope and desire.

Elijah was given nourishment along the way to Mt Sinai.  He felt down, dejected and like none of his actions served any purpose.  The angel told him, “The journey is too great for thee,” and fed and nourished him.

We know what happened next.  He made his journey, was told he was not alone and that he had work yet to do.

God gives us encouragement along the way, and as things get worse, we will need it!

I got some encouragement today by reading Jojog Devotionals today.  The article is “Emergency! I Think I’m Shut Down!”  Give it a read, will you?

One of these days, I’ll figure out an easy way to display the title of the latest article under the blog name in the blogroll.  Maybe that will happen sometime when I am not doing something like spending two days writing a backup and sync script because the programs that purport to do this don’t do it correctly.


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