Learning From Reruns

Title: Learning From Reruns
Subject: Fear
Learning about Change from "Reruns"
Dr. Vince Hefner, Pastor
First Baptist Church
Cherryville, North Carolina

Believe it or not, I have learned a few things about myself by watching reruns on television. When I was a child, I watched certain shows when they were first shown on television. Now that I am older and have had the opportunity to watch these shows as an adult, I am surprised that my taste in enjoyment has changed! I have also found out that I don't like certain things as an adult because of what I watched on the "telly" when I was a youngster.

When I was a child one show that I would not miss was "Dark Shadows." This show would come on television everyday right after school. I would rush home to watch Barnabas Collins terrorize the citizens in the little hamlet town of Collinwood. Besides turning into a bat from time to time, Barnabas also had to struggle with being a vampire. He couldn't get out in the daytime, nor could he check his looks in a mirror. Barnabas was always afraid of being "outted" as a vampire, and would go to incredible lengths to hide his true identity. This show kept me scared for most of my growing up years.

I recently watched some reruns of the show and instead of feeling afraid, I was amused by the episodes. I was no longer afraid of my childhood nemesis, Barnabas. However, I now know why I don't like the beach. At the beginning of each episode, they would show a scene of the beach at nighttime with waves crashing around some rocks. I thought I didn't like the beach because of the sand, jellyfish, smell, wind, and overcrowding. It's good to know I can trace my dislike for the beach to a daytime soap opera that dealt with a vampire with a moral dilemma! I'm just glad that the show didn't place Barnabas in the mountains of western North Carolina! It would have taken a great deal more than a middle-aged vampire to make me dislike my home. It would have been funny to have heard Barnabas talk with a southern accent, "Hey ya'll, I''m a fixin'' to bite you right slap dab on your neck bone." Anyway, I am glad that I have learned about myself from my childhood.

It is amazing how time and experience can change a person''s perspective on something as simple as a rerun on television. It is also interesting that a television program can make such an impression on a young child. I am just thankful that I have lived long enough to know the difference between what is real and what is imaginary. Can you imagine being scared or controlled by something that doesn''t exist? It would be a miserable existence for something or someone to have control over you that shouldn't.

It is good to know that the Christian faith is about trusting in the power of Jesus Christ to cleanse you of your sins and to help lead you in victorious living. Hebrews 13:5-6 says, "For God has said, ''I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.'' So we can say with confidence, ''The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?''" The more time you spend with Jesus in prayer and Bible study, the more you realize that the things of this world have no hold on you. If something or someone is pulling you in the wrong direction, be sure to trust in the One who has control of all things and all circumstances. Don't allow the reruns of life to take away from the joy of today. Remember, don't give in to sin. Think about it!