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Devious Diversions – On a Scale of 1 to…

Transform My MindWho Said It…Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier should know entertainment.  He was the first black actor to gain widespread acceptance by audiences of all races.

In 1963 he won an Oscar for Lilies of the Field, and in 1967 he memorably played Detective Virgil Tibbs in In the Heat of the Night.

But as a young Bahamian immigrant, Poitier arrived in New York city with an accent so thick that—after his first audition—the director told him to become a dishwasher.

What He Said…On a Scale of 1 to …

It’s late at night as I lie in bed in the blue glow of the television set. I have the remote control in my hand and I go from 1 to 97, scrolling through the channels.

I find nothing that warrants my attention, nothing that amuses me. So I scroll up again, channel by channel from bottom to top.

This vast, sophisticated technology and … nothing.  It’s given me not one smidgen of pleasure.  It’s informed me of nothing beyond my own ignorance and my own frailties.

But then I have the audacity to go up again!  And what do I find?  Nothing, of course.

So at last, filled with self-disgust, I punch the TV off and throw the clicker across the room, muttering to myself, “What am I doing with my time?”

It’s not as if I’m without other resources—treasured books and art objects, photographs and mementos.  I have a rich network of friends, whom I could reach on the phone within seconds.  So what am I doing with my time?

Adapted from The Measure of a Man (HarperSanFrancisco, 2000).

Prayer for the Week: Lord, transform my life by renewing my mind in accordance with Your good and perfect will.

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