The Gospel of Gilmore Girls

My Thanksgiving weekend probably looked like a lot of yours. I ate too much leftover Thanksgiving food, watched football, spent time with friends and family, and watched six hours of Gilmore Girls.

Maybe your weekend didn't include all things Gilmore, but there are an annoying lot of us taking over Facebook, hashtagging and arguing over which boyfriend is better for Rory (it's Jess and it always will be). If you aren't of the GG variety and find yourself a little confused, maybe skip out on this post.

I watched Gilmore Girls as it aired. All 7 seasons. I have a lot of friends who say it was the show they watched with their  moms. Since it is a mother/daughter show, I can see why they would do that. Maybe they wish their mom was a little more like Lorelai and maybe their mother wished their daughter was a little more like Rory? Who knows. I mostly watched it alone. When it was released on Netflix, I watched it all again. Then, when I heard there was going to be a 4-episode revival, I could hardly stand it. All would be right again. The original writers could redeem the final season of which they were not apart of and we could all get our Gilmore fix.

The thing is, as I watched the revival with fresh eyes, as the mother of a daughter, I found myself saddened. If I were watching this show, 15 years from now, with my daughter, what kinds of conversations would we be having? Would we simply laugh at the witty banter, drool over the cute outfits, and wish we could live in such an idyllic place with all of the quirky cast and supposedly amazing coffee?

I don't think so... I think it goes without saying that, while it is in fact just a tv show for entertainment purposes, the story arc and varying nuances of the show are incredibly reflective of our current culture. An identity rooted in independence, education, relationship status, appearances, and finances is evidenced not only on most television shows and movies, but in our jobs, families and friend groups. I can easily think of a plenitude of examples to cite. And so, as I watched Lorelai and Rory flit from thing to thing, hoping for something to stick, something to provide fulfillment, I grew increasingly disheartened. Here is what I would say to Wren, if we were watching this show together today:


It looks glamorous, doesn't it? Being thin and beautiful regardless of what you eat. Never needing to want for anything, since money is only a phone call away, be it to a wealthy grandparent or on-again-off-again boyfriend? It looks dreamy. The luxury of never making decision or putting down roots. The extravagance of not committing to a relationship or a career.

Augustine says our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God. This is apparent not only in this picturesque television show but also in life around us. You will always have friends and family members that are always chasing after the wind (as the writer of Ecclesiastes says). There is always a trip to plan, a resume to build, a relationship to end, a new partner to pursue. There is always a new hobby to start, a new outfit to buy, a new paint shade for the kitchen. There is always another degree path to pursue, a new career, a different diet to try, a new workout DVD. There will always be things to offer temporary contentment. But, I promise you, they will not last. Just as we see on this silly show (that I admittedly taking too seriously), Lorelai is always restless, discontent. Her hopes are in her daughter's success, her relationship, her career. At least once a season we find her attempting to make peace with where she is and "find herself" or figure things out. And Rory? The stereotypical millennial trajectory of refusing to put down roots, accept a job that she feels is beneath her or commit to a legitimate, healthy relationship? What happiness can that bring other than that which is fleeting and momentary?

Let me tell you. Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in God. I look around at my life and I realize to most it likely looks boring. I stay home with three small children for ten-twelve hours a day until my husband walks in from a long day at work. I do 1-2 loads of laundry per day. I run the dishwasher twice a day. I cook and clean only to cook and clean again. But, for the most part, I am surprisingly content. I am not second guessing my life path. This can only be attributed to contentment in Jesus. I know that any other thing I would try is vanity, a chasing after the wind. There are times I hear its whisper, calling me to pursue that thing. Losing weight will bring happiness and fulfillment. Pushing the blog and writing seriously and regularly will fill my ego. And, you know, maybe those things will deliver... but it's only a matter of time before they fail me, again. Because they are not good gods. They are simply substitute idols.

So, by all means, let's enjoy the witty banter between mother and daughter. Let's enjoy the never ending delight that is Kirk. But let it stop there. Do not buy into the lies that anything on this earth can really provide. Education, money, relationships. None of those things are designed to make you happy. They are all designed to point you to the one true source of happiness. And that is Jesus.

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