For the past week or so I have been looking forward to seeing a certain movie (okay, FINE..."Magic Mike") because it has an actor that I really like in it...Channing Tatum. Oh, it is set in the world of male strippers and it even has some dance numbers that will probably be a little more in-your-face than I am typically comfortable with...but I'm going just the same. Because, you see, I see it for what it is...a story. A movie. I am not the kind of person who would normally go to a "revue" because it just isn't my thing.
After all, if I need a private dancer, I have one at home, thank you very much.
What? TMI? Hey, I'm married, people. Check out "Song of Solomon" in the Bible. Exactly.
There are people who will not want to see this film because it would be too weird (mostly the males) or because it might be a stumbling block. And that's truly okay. But I've always been a sucker for biographies (this is loosely based on Channing Tatum's experiences as a 19 year old), and stepping out to see what the fuss is about if it isn't likely to carry me off into a place I don't need to go.
In the "Places I Don't Need to Go" Department...front and center would probably be the "Shades of Grey" books. (And by the way, one of the actors in "Magic Mike," Matt Bomer, is probably the #1 candidate for the "Grey" role when it actually comes to pass. Guess "Magic Mike" is a good way to get rid of some of those inhibitions.) A lot of women that I know from all walks of life, backgrounds, and belief systems are reading the "Grey" books and mumbling a collective "Oh my!" They are then telling their friends to read them and the reach has been pretty tremendous through word of mouth alone. The fact that you can download these books to an electronic device has made it even easier for those women who had any inhibitions about stepping into the local "Books-a-Million" and picking up the trilogy.
But for a lot of people seeing this movie will be like dancing on the edge. No pun intended.
I recognize that.
Much like someone bringing a box of doughnuts to work to be nice is fine for a person who doesn't have an eating disorder like I do. Taking a trip to Vegas or Biloxi and dropping $50 in the nickel slot machine - and then walking away when it is all gone - is fine. Maxing out the credit card or spending the mortgage payment to gamble...is not. Or someone having a cocktail or a glass of wine at a party is perfectly natural...unless that glass of wine turns into a bottle and then into a lost weekend. For some people, they cannot watch this movie because it will offend their spiritual core and will make them ashamed.
I get that. I really do.
We are all very different creatures. What is fine for one person is obviously very negative for someone else. I also know that as a Christian, we are supposed to be in the world and not of it.
But I'm not going to be shamed into not going simply because it is "bad." Many people look at trying to live their lives as perfect creatures when in reality, none of us will ever achieve that standard because we are "in Adam." We have to do the best to be what God would have us be while understanding that we have our own unique limits. Unless you are Amish, you are going to encounter a lot of things in life that are probably not wholesome. Your job is to cut through the garbage and be real.
So, while going to see "Magic Mike" isn't going to do much more than give me two hours of entertainment (except for the popcorn that I will undoubtedly eat because it's what I do)...and will certainly not advance the kingdom of God...to me...it is entertainment. Of course, it is a very personal decision based on the way that you are uniquely wired. Much like choosing whether or not to eat, drink, read, watch, learn, or permit something in your life that may or may not be for your greatest good.
But as for me? I'm a nearly 50 year old woman who is happily married. Watching this movie is something fun to talk about with my girlfriends. Plus, I watch all dance movies...from "Saturday Night Fever" to "Urban Cowboy" to "Step Up" to well...this.
As I mentioned, I am a big Channing Tatum fan. He is 32 years old, happily married, and seems to be the kind of person who I would actually like if I knew him in real life. He's an Alabama boy that happened to be born very, very pretty, and he has managed to find work as a dancer, a model, an actor, and also as a producer of various films. He is charming and funny, and doesn't seem to take himself too seriously. I am also old enough to be his mother (I was 17 when he was born). This fact isn't lost on me. And if my son came to me and said that he wanted to be a male dancer (which I cannot even remotely fathom)...I'd tell him what my parents told me..."Be the best...and don't lose yourself."
Maybe you haven't made up your mind whether or not to see the movie because you want to know a little more about what it is about before you choose. Can't say that I blame you at all. I normally hang back myself on things like the "Grey" books or something that I think might alter my moods or my thinking about something. I don't watch horror movies, disaster movies, or even freaky movies. I'm definitely attracted to romantic comedies, biographical and period pieces, and dance movies.
Like "Magic Mike."
So, no matter who recommends it to you or tells you that you shouldn't go...make up your own mind in light of your belief system and your personal limitations. I know I have.