One Megan Griffiths ran late for work today. As I turned on my television to catch the morning news, the first thing on the screen was the great laugh-track driven childhood classic, Saved by the Bell. With no one but me to “fake sick” for, instinct was to touch my head, pretend to fever and grab a fresh pillow.
After watching this show again at 27 years old, let me just say, season 2 should’ve amounted to the shows imminent cancellation as, against all odds, Dustin Diamonds acting actually got worse. Rather, they used this particular “issue” episode, Jessie’s Song, as a rare “The More You Know” teaching moment for an entire D.A.R.E generation.
Jessie is stressed to the max (no pun intended) so in order to keep up with all of her school work and extracurriculars she develops a caffeine pill addiction in 20 short minutes. As she simultaneously studies and dances around her room, popping pills like smarties, Zack walks in, immediately figures out what is going on and confronts her. Interrupting her crazed dance number, she hysterically sing/sobs the timeless line: “I’m so excited….I’m so….I’m so…scared.” Zack (her 14 yr old peer) decides she is no longer going to be part of the talent show and the episode ends with Belding pronouncing the Kelly-Lisa-Screech dance trio (yes, called Hot Sundae) talent-show winners. Zack says something dreamy, everyone high-fives. Freeze frame. And, awesome.
As I gunned it to work, I not only pondered my commitment to a life time of happiness with Zack Morris throughout my grade school years, but more so on how many Jessie Spano moments I’ve had. I’m not suggesting that I’m all hopped up on caffeine pills (though how many daily visits to Starbucks constitute a problem?), I’m saying I think I sing “I’m so excited…I’m so scared” a lot louder and more often than I think I do.
“God, I’m SO excited to embark on whatever it is you have for me next – you open the door of opportunity, and I’ll obediently take a step through it.” How often have I followed that prayer up with “…I’m so scared” once He’s opened the door? Whether being so capsized so by fear, too comfortable with status quo or waiting on the exciting thing that I had in mind (all which boil down to a lack of surrender), I’m guessing I’ve missed the abundant blessing the Lord had for me a number of times. So excited. So scared. Classic Spano.
So I look back on my life and recount all of the instances that the Lord has said “go” and I’ve gone… and He’s faithfully provided for me. Just like the Israelites, these instances serve as altars demonstrating the blessing that results from my submission and the Lords provision. When I can look back over the history of faithfulness he’s established, I’m not filled with a spirit of fear or the spirit to stall, but of boldness and of trust that if the Lord cares for a little sparrow, he cares so much more for me.
Are you pulling a Spano right now? Excited about the Lord’s blessings but too scared to go get them? Are you staying put when you should go? Running away when you should commit? Being lazy when hard work is required? The Lord is so much bigger than our fear, and while a first step of obedience might be scary, the Lord promised that He would go with us, sustain us. Life in Christ is nothing if it’s not bold! It’s time to kick Jessie to the curb. No little girl wanted to be Jessie anyhow. Al Gore is pointing to an entire generation of mini Kelly Kapowskis running around play grounds with aerosol Aqua Net to hold their bangs up.
I leave you with this: the episode after was the one where Jeff, the hot waiter at The Max, breaks up Kelly and Zack. Their epic last dance to the Michael Bolton classic more than makes up for the hysteria of the Jessie’s Song episode.