When I was growing up, my favorite TV show was Leave it to Beaver. I think I saw every one of the 234 episodes at least once (and then there were the reruns!). For those of you who don’t remember, the show was about an “ideal” suburban family in the 1950’s. They lived in a perfect house and had a perfect family. There were two sons, Wally and Beaver, and a dad named Ward. He looked sharp in his suit and tie and was always carrying a briefcase. Then there was the mom, June Cleaver, played by Barbara Billingsley. She was my favorite! June’s hair and makeup was the picture of perfection. She wore beautiful dresses and heels while baking cookies, dusting Ward’s den, and waxing her already spotless kitchen floor. I never forget the fact that she always wore a beautiful pearl necklace. I would dream of how I was going to grow up and be just like her!
Sound like real life? Lets look a little closer.
My husband and I went on vacation to Hollywood, California. While there, we took a tour of Universal Studios. You might imagine my excitement when I was told that is where Leave it to Beaver was filmed from 1957-1963. I couldn’t wait to get down that street! I was finally going to see that perfect Cleaver home!
Boy, was I was in for a big surprise! The house, along with the rest of the neighborhood was only a façade. It was a mere shell, located on what is known as the back lot of the studio. The house wasn’t even a real house. All the shots showing the inside of the house were taken on stages in different parts of the studio. After all, it was only make believe.
In real life, Barbara Billingsley did have two sons of her own. However, where her character, June, was a stay at home mom, Mrs. Billingsley was widowed twice and once divorced and worked long, hard hours while raising her children. Remember the pearl necklace which became her trademark? She came up with that idea herself to cover a noticeable surgical scar on her neck.
What does this have to do with us today? The enemy always paints a pretty picture. He loves to discourage us by having us look at unrealistic images to compare ourselves to. He desires for us to keep our eyes on façades. That way, we will look at ourselves and feel that we are not good enough. Maybe we feel as if we are too old or too young. The enemy may tell us we are not smart enough or are too poor to achieve our dreams. As long as we’re looking at something that is not real, we will remain unsatisfied with ourselves and with our lives. We must seek after that which is real and truly satisfies: Jesus! Everything else will just let us down and leave us empty.
Of course that doesn’t mean we are not to strive to have nice things or a good life. God desires for us to live an abundant life. I am saying that we are to seek first the kingdom of God. He will lead us and guide us with His plan for our lives, and, in that plan, we will always find fulfillment!
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” – Mat 13:45-46 KJV