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Friday, March 2, 2012

Lessons from The Rifleman and Bonanza

I just celebrated another birthday. They say with age comes wisdom. But it seems the older the get the more I realize how little I know, especially when I hold up my knowledge to the old time TV characters.  Since we've had to financially cut back, our upstairs older TV which is the one we watch the most has more limited channels. While the downstairs TV has many more options including a program recording feature. The problem is we are renting out our downstairs to a tenant so we don't get to enjoy the benefits and many many channel choices except on occasion when our renter is gone.

I rarely watch TV unless it is to enjoy a movie or on a rare occasion a recorded TV show. But sometimes I do sit down at dinner if my husband is gone and flip on the television in our den.  I try the news, but it covers the Charlotte area and we are in Hickory. So much of what they discuss has little bearing on our great metropolis here. I end up flipping channels. Sometimes I watch old shows just for fun. The Rifleman and Bonanza are "old friends" I've come back to (and re-runs of Project Runway). I'm  astounded at how fast the plots move. Especially the Rifleman. I mean, just how deep can you go in a half hour? Even with those time constraints, there's always some earth-trembling crisis to be solved by Lucas McCain or Ben Cartwright. Sometimes they have to wrap up the end so quickly it's laughable. Everything comes to a screeching halt. But they always make it through and they always learn something. They even get shot but there's little blood to show for it. Those were the good old days.

I wish I had just a fraction of their smarts to figure out the hard stuff. I mean really, right now I am facing cleaning out my mom's house, trying to find tax records--did they ever have to find tax records? Or deciding how we should liquidate everything when no one is buying houses these days.  I'm also piecing together jobs to make ends meet and trying to figure which direction to go in for the future. If Lucas or Ben ever had these concerns, they never dealt with them on TV.  They handle big stuff--all neatly wrapped up at the end of the day.

If age comes with wisdom then shouldn't I be able to handle small matters a tidily as these guys handled the big ones? Instead I go through a groping and searching process. Yeah. I pray for direction, but it's not always so clear. I guess  Lucas and Ben are operating from a fictional script. I, on the other hand, am dealing with  real life, an unscripted part.  I can't see what's happening next so I can plan out how what to do or how to react. The most God expects me to do is hold tight, keep the faith, and seek to do the right thing based on what what he has revealed. He'll honor my response. Of course, being a crack shot might not hurt in the least.


Teena Stewart is author of the Treasure Seeker and other books.


  1. Even the stories in the bible don't reveal the rapid solutions we see in fictional pieces. I guess that's why we read and watch. The first part of Hebrews 11 talks about the benefits of faith. The last part (which is rarely preached) reveals the ellipses that life often hold.

  2. And that is why people like fiction. BECAUSE IT'S NOT REAL LIFE.