I'm an American Idol fan. I admit it. I'm not ashamed. I'm so much of a fan that I even tape and watch the auditions (sometimes more than once). Last week I filled out one of those "get to know your friends" internet forwards and one of the questions was "When was the last time you cried?" My response - while watching American Idol.
During the audition shows, you see countless people - some good, some horrible - stand before the three judges and do their best performance. Some of the performers are clueless that they sound so bad, that you just feel sorry for them, and others are really diamonds in the rough. The other night there was a little southern girl - Kelly Pickler (I remember her name, she introduced herself as "Kelly Pickler, Pick, Pick, Pick me") - that if she makes it to the final 12, you can remember her name. Every time they do a touching recap story, you know it's a good sign. She lives with her Grandfather and works for Sonic. Her Mother left her when she was two, and her Father is in and out of jail for drugs. She may not be the next American Idol, but she's got a great voice - and this may be her only chance - for anything outside of a life on rollerskates at Sonic.
Once the audition was over, the three judges say yes or no - they all agreed and said yes and Randy Jackson announced, "Welcome to Hollywood!" She left the room with her Wonka-like golden ticket and fell to the floor in tears. Like I said....it could be her only chance in life to make more than minimum wage.
It made me reflect on something so much more eternally important. This wonderful gift I have in salvation - an eternity in Heaven. Nothing I ever did or ever said ever earned me this gift. It was free. I envision myself walking into the "audition" room of heaven, standing in front of God, ready for my "audition." I'd have rehearsed what I would say or do to "impress" Him. But no sooner than I walk in front of Him and begin to open my mouth, He proclaims, "Wait, my child....it's a yes...Welcome to Heaven!" I did nothing, yet He did it all for me. I don't deserve it, yet He makes me righteous to receive it. I leave that "audition" room and fall at the feet of Jesus weeping, grateful that He paid the price for me. It's far better than any trip to Hollywood.