I walked into the living room this evening to find Fionnuala and Adam watching a movie called ‘Sharknado’. You may have heard of it but not during Oscars week. The plot basically surrounds a series of freak tornadoes hitting Los Angeles and depositing a shedload of man eating sharks on the unsuspecting public. Shark + Tornado = Sharknado. Get it?
It ‘stars’ (for want of a better word) Tara Reid from ‘American Pie’ and that annoying bloke out of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ with the curly blonde hair. Steve, I think. Or was it Dylan? Anyway I doubt that the movie was a career highlight for any of them but I suppose it paid a few bills.
If the acting is bad, wait until you hear the storyline. At one point an actress is plucked from a helicopter high above the city by a ravenous, airborne Jaws lookalike. She’s a goner for sure right? Wrong! Ten minutes later our hero, Steve, dives headlong into a shark as it plummets towards earth in order to push his teenage daughter out of the way. Double trouble!
But rest assured as the next scene shows him cutting his way out of the shark’s belly with a chainsaw that he just happened to pick up along the way. And clambering out behind him, covered in shark intestines, is the girl who had, seemingly a lifetime ago, been grabbed from the helicopter. Sharktastic!!
All this caused great hilarity in the Black household. The special effects looked like they cost around £5.50 and a few rolls of duct tape. It was Z-list made for TV celluloid trash. And how we loved it! Adam was delighted to hear that ‘Sharknado’ is now a five movie franchise. There is obviously a market for this trash. The mind boggles.
It really was one of those ‘so bad it’s good’ movies which we have all secretly enjoyed while admitting nothing of the sort to our movie afficiando friends. A guilty pleasure which we will take to our graves rather than fess up to the ridicule of our peers. And where is the harm in that? Nobody gets hurt and in the event of a real life airborne great white invasion we are streets ahead of our neighbours when it comes to chances of survival.
Guilty pleasures. That extra helping of dessert. That new dress you have been eyeing up in the sales for weeks. That new must have gadget that you just have to get your hands on. Again, no great drama as long as you hit the gym the following day or make sure your credit bill is paid at the end of the month.
Where guilty pleasures do become a problem though is when they take our eyes off God and the path he has laid out in front of us. When they create barriers between Him and us and become idols that we covet and worship. When they replace God at the centre of our lives. That extra glass of wine after dinner every night that eventually becomes a bottle. Then two.
Or that harmless online friendship that over time slides into inappropriate, sinful behaviour. It is then that the guilt outweighs the pleasure and your moral compass starts to go into serious freefall. Before you know it you are lifted off your feet and blown away into your own personal tornado of shame and despair.
Don’t go there. It’s not a nice place. And believe me I know as I’ve been there. Who knows how many times King David admired Bathsheba from his palace rooftop before he invited her over for dinner. It was his guilty pleasure. Nobody else knew about it. What harm was a little peek?
But the seed had been sown and before he knew it David was an adulterer and a murderer. His moral compass was doing loop the loops and the more he tried to dig his way out of it, the worse it got for him. It cost him his son. And almost his very soul. Check out Psalm 51 if you don’t believe me.
If it can happen to the mighty King David, a man after God’s own heart, then it can certainly happen to you or me. Subtly, gradually, almost without us being aware of it. Then BAM!! Satan has his hooks well and truly lodged in our hearts and it’s game over.
So enjoy that extra slice of pizza now and again. But when it comes to the bigger issues, know your limits. Know when to say no. And have Christian friends around you who you can be accountable to. Identify your weaknesses and vulnerabilities and prepare strategies to counter enemy attacks. Because that’s where he will be coming at you from. Trust God to guide you through the trials and temptations. For he sees into the deepest recesses of your heart.
Now does anybody know where I can rent ‘Sharknado 2’?
2 Samuel 11:2 -3 ‘One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful and David sent someone to find out about her.’
What is your ‘so bad it’s good’ movie?
Have you any other guilty pleasure?
How do you focus on God every day?