Oct 13, 2011

Jumping the Shark

The young man aimed for the shark. He was determined to jump over it. If he did, he would demonstrate to all his incredible bravery. If he failed? ...well, he would become shark bait. As he approached the confined animal everyone watched with baited breath. But this was no ordinary young man. This was Arthur Fonzarelli. The Fonz never missed.

Happy Days was one of my favorite television shows. It ran from 1974 to 1984 and was very much a part of my childhood. But something happened in its fifth season. The show started to decline. It wasn't the writing or the acting or the funding. In fact, by the fifth season the show was one of the hottest shows on television. No, it just got stale. In hindsight, some people point to this episode – the premier of Season Five - when The Fonz jumped the shark. That episode was the beginning of the end.

This phrase caught on. Advertisers began to use the term, "Jump the Shark" to remind everyone in television production that if you don't keep things new, they go stale. But today this idiom is used by everyone. So if you hear the term, "Jump the Shark", it means that something has gone stale. It has reached its peak. It has begun to decline.

Television shows aren't the only things that go stale. In fact, businesses track the life-cycle of their products. Everything reaches a peak. After it does, it goes into decline. The smart businesses will spin off a product during the peak. This maximizes their profits and lets someone else deal with the decline. In fact, if a business doesn't re-invent its products periodically, someone else will and do it better. That's why smart businesses spend so much time and money in research and development. If they don't move forward – they will die.

Humans can also reach a peak. We can get to the point where everything in our life just seems the same. We can get into a funk where everything just goes on and on and on. It never changes. We've jumped the shark.

If this describes you, pause for a moment and remember this: God never stales. His Holy Spirit is active in His Church. In every corner of the globe He is working to renew and re-invigorate. In Revelation 21:5, Jesus says, "I am making everything new". This means that He is active in you also! With God in your life, you will never go stale. In fact even to your last breath, He will be at work in you. He will bring you to His mansion where life will never decline again.

Blessings,

Pastor David Hook