09 Nov Cucumbers, Space rocks, and Pretty Little Liars
I don’t know if I was the cut-off of the Veggie Tales generation or in the middle somewhere, but just in case you forgot, here’s a quick recap. Veggie Tales was a series produced by Big Idea where Bible stories and themes were told through the interactions and stories of several friends of Vegetables. There was Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber (who were in every episode), Junior Asparagus, The French
Peas, Laura the Carrot…and even Steve the Peach. Nonetheless, at one point, perhaps somewhere in my early high school days, Veggie Tales released a full-length story called Larry Boy, which was loosely based upon the idea of Batman…as a cucumber.
What sent me into this cosmic walk down childhood memory lane you might ask? Well I’ll tell you. We were loading the trailer the other night after a rally and I’d asked if it was okay to leave a particular piece of equipment in the parking lot, because I feared it would roll away, thereby causing any amount of damage to the equipment itself and/or whatever passerby it might take out on its merry way. I was told the piece would not roll away, so I let it go…and it rolled away. Granted, this was not really anyone’s fault besides perhaps the laws of physics or inertia or something I’ve long forgotten about since my junior year of high school. But I proceeded to tell the person that they’d blatantly lied about the whole thing. To which another one of my comrades replied, “They didn’t lie, Christie”
Me, being stubborn as usual replied, “”They said it wouldn’t roll away and it did. Lie.”
“It was more of a fib.” He shrugged.
And there it is. THERE IT IS. Cue the theme music of Larry Boy.
Because the story of Larry Boy centered around a little tiny space rock named Fib. And Fib single-handedly convinces Junior Asparagus to “fib” to his parents about a broken plate. But as Junior gets caught in his “fib” and keeps trying to “fib” his way out of it, the little space rock named Fib keeps growing and growing until he is a giant LIE trying to consume Junior Asparagus! DUN DUN DUN. OH the humanity!!!!
So piece my thought process with Larry Boy with my attempted research on some recent popular TV shows. I’ve noticed this trend, especially with ones about teenagers, that TV shows feature characters who “fib” on a regular basis. And despite the clear evidence of how all of their “fibbing” gets them into more and more trouble every time, they continue to do it. It’s like they forget how badly the lying turned out last time. And then they don’t understand why they have so much trouble trusting people or committing to things.
Lying is a tough thing. You don’t want to do it, because you know it isn’t right. God tells us to live in the light as he is in the light and that the things that are in darkness will eventually be brought into the light anyway (Matt 10:26) That’s in God’s word. So why is it so hard sometimes for us to realize this in the moment: that the fib is only going to grow into a lie that wants to eat us up, steal our trust, and destroy beautiful things?
There are hard situations. Sometimes people want to lie to protect other people. Sometimes people ignore the truth because its easier to believe the lie. We want to keep things as they are. We don’t want to risk how the truth can and might change things. The truth is scary sometimes. But God is in the truth.
The crux of the issue is, Larry Boy couldn’t defeat the Fib. Not with his rocket ship or his cool hat or cucmberly ways. Only Junior Asparagus could do it. By telling the truth.And as he did, the big giant Lie, shrunk into nothingness.
I remember going through a year of college where I was done with it. I didn’t make a habit of lying so much as I did with hiding. Hiding from the the truth. Trying to edge my way around it and watching other people do the same. It was easier to not deal with something straight on. It was easier to pretend like it didn’t exist, or wasn’t really a problem. But I came to a point where I just wanted things straight.I remember writing a piece called, “Will you be straight with me?” Within it, I wrote all of these questions to people I didn’t name, about things we were avoiding talking about. I opened up the can of worms. I named all of the elephants in the room. I wrote things that I needed to be honest about and hadn’t. I laid it all out there.
Afterward, I stared in astonishment at how long the list had become.
That was where I decided, I don’t want to live in that place. Whether its blatant lies, little fibs, or just skirting around the truth trying not to make waves, I don’t want that. There’s this rough freedom that emerges from the truth. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to sit down and face things straight on. It takes courage, it takes careful thought, it takes prayer. And the truth does hurt sometimes. But at least the truth hurts head on. You see it for what it is, in the moment and can deal with it…because it’s true.
Lies damage in sneaky ways. At first, it might look like the lie helps even. But lies also break trust, which break relationships. Lies are hard to deal with, because if you don’t know what’s true, then how can you face it?
Jesus said to the woman at the well that “God is Spirit, so all who worship him must worship in Spirit and in Truth” (John 4:24 NLT). That’s the kind of person I really want to be. The one that can stand and worship alongside people in spirit and in the truth.
We all make poor choices, and even though we don’t deserve it…God gives us a fresh start. It’s called grace. And because he loves us, he gives it to us for free.
So, Moral of the story:
1.Don’t talk to spacerocks.
2. Be like Asparagus.
3. Live in the light. Walk in truth. And if you stumble along the way…thank God for his grace.
P.S Lying isn’t pretty.