Oct 2, 2007

The World Is Much Too Much With Us

I took a Shakespeare course in college and found his understanding of human nature to be astounding. I memorized many of his more famous and slightly more obscure sayings because they seem to fit life so well. I thought of that one (title) last night when I heard something on TV that just shocked me. I often feel like Julia Roberts in “Pretty Woman” when she told Richard Gere, “Really, people shock the [heck] out of me all the time.” (Caveat: that may not be the direct quote; it’s been a while since I watched the movie.)

I am constantly amazed at the spouting of worldly wisdom so inconsistent with gospel wisdom. I KNEW I lived in the last of the last days, but I just don’t always realize how bad it is out there. As a young person, I was bombarded with sexual content; as an adult, I have seen it grow worse. But the shock factor is the breezy way people dismiss values that at one time were given at least a passing nod.

Example, just one, btw (little Internet lingo there). Last night on Glenn Beck (yes, we’re a political junkie family), some young man from some magazine was rattling on and in the midst of it, he commented (again not an exact quote), you know, like having sex with a virgin, man, who wants that! It’s awkward. No one wants that. I think Beck was as ataken back as I was. I looked at my dad, he looked at me and then we both looked back at the TV as if to say, surely, we didn’t hear that right.

That lead me to the book I’m currently reading: “The Last Kingdom” by Bernard Cornwall, known for his Sharpe series. He’s brutal in his description of war. This is set in post-Roman, pre-Norman England. Suddenly, I put it down, thinking, I’m surrounded by worldly wisdom: virginity is bad, violence is natural, man is brutal, this is normal with the implication normal is good.

So as a writer, do I contribute to this notion? Am I supposed to fight it? We’ve covered this ground before, and it’s an intensely private issue for each writer: but just how far is too far?

Last night, I felt the world was much too much with me. So tonight, I think I’ll skip TV and read along in “Jesus the Christ” and try to remember I’m the offspring of deity and have much higher standards than the world would have me follow.


  1. Teri,
    You're right. Our posts certainly do complement one another. I guess "the world [has been] too much with us" both, of late!

  2. Your title reminded me of William Wordsworth's sonnet by the same title. I'm wondering now if Shakespeare said it first. I really liked the first part of Wordsworth's, as he bemoans losing touch with nature.

    "The world is too much with us; late and soon,
    Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
    We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
    This sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
    The winds that will be howling at all hours,
    And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
    For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
    It moves us not."

    But what would he trade it for? Pagan mythology! Not my idea of a good trade. However, trading what my mother would have called 'smut' for gospel truths; now that's worth all the ingenuity and energy we possess.

  3. YOu know what Anna you could be right. I'm not a Wordsworth fan, so I didn't check my source. Good catch as we'd say at work. My guess is Shakespeare probably said something similiar but the line I quoted was definitely Wordsworth. You win a gold star.

  4. Great post, Terri. My own thoughts have been similar as of late. I have met and worked with some expectant parents lately that have me wondering something. Am I listening to the spirit closely enough? Are these people opportunities to serve and share the gospel or do I need to walk away from the worldliness of their lives and not risk exposing myself to those things of the world. I have come to realize I live in a "bubble" and that I like my bubble. There is way to much drama out in the world.

  5. Terri:
    I really agree with your thoughts. I have been thinking the same thing myself. I wanted to just enjoy a great little story I was reading that started out clean but ended up terribly inappropirate for non-married people. The world has gone so far to the extreme, it doesn't seem that it will ever come back until after the second comming. But that't they way it's suppose to happen. My philosophy is that I will always fight it till the death and always encourage uplifting writing.


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