This one was written by Clayton Hornback.
Today I was driving around Birmingham, listening to the radio. It was about 3:00 o’clock. And rather than tune into The Paul Finebaum Show, which can be both full of law and humorous grace, I instead turned the dial to the local NPR station (90.3 WBHM). I’m so glad I did, because NPR’s afternoon program Here and Now was in the middle of a piece titled, “LISTEN: These 5 Fake Ads Will Sell You On Some Of Life’s Real Delights.” The basic gist of the piece was highlighting five completely made-up ads which were created to advertise the things in life that are free of charge, things which advertising companies will never, well, advertise.
One of these fake ads was submitted by Jennifer Harmon of Belle Isle, FL. Her ad was titled, “Nothing.” The commercial has a constant background of busyness: phone rings, text alerts, demands from family and bosses, etc. With this background, a narrator begins:
Where the race from the gym, to the office, to the carpool and to the kitchen is unrelenting.
When your spouse asks, “what should we do for dinner?” And your boss demands, “I need this ASAP.” Every. Single. Day.
And silence and solitude is only achieved When. Your. Phone. Battery. Dies.
We bring you a new kind of hero: Nothing.
**Triumphant music begins**
Yes. Nothing. No phone, no Netflix, no cooking, no laundry. No scrolling, Snapchat, soccer snacks or swiping left … or right.
Nothing is here to save you. (Seriously though, Nothing. Do it.) Coming to a mind-blown you this February.
With or without knowing it, both Jennifer Harmon of Belle Isle and NPR’s Here and Now proclaimed some good news to their listeners, with or without their listeners knowing it. As the ad makes comically clear, each of us lives amidst the demands of every day life, whether they be friends, family, co-workers, or, most prominently, the busyness that we impose or is imposed upon us. We all feel it, and I think we all wish to be relieved the feeling.
And in comes the good news of relief, which is: doing nothing. Nothing is here to save you. The relief that doing absolutely nothing brings is an unexpected, yet beautiful kind of relief.
In sum, I guess this is just a short post to say thank you to NPR for giving its listeners some humorous good news. But even more, it provided me a reminder of the really Good News that we sinners bring nothing — I mean really, nothing — to the table. As the old hymn says, “nothing in my hands I bring, simply to the cross I cling.” And God goes even further than that, because it was primarily in Jesus Christ making himself nothing that we have been given everything. So, praise God.