The Uncle Rico Syndrome and the Sovereignty of God

Posted: August 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

Have you ever met someone in the midst of a relationship crisis who blurted out something about, “the one”? Maybe he or she said something like, “But, what if we break-up and he’s THE ONE?” or “What if I don’t ask her out and she’s THE ONE?”  Sound familiar?

A person can be raised in a free-will Baptist church with a picture of John Wesley on the mantle a collection of Ayn Rand books on the shelf but still lapse into a twisted form of romantic fatalism. 

As far as I can tell, “the one” is another’s perfect match in each and every way.  The one is affirming, funny and knows just how to heal any wound and in a creative, Hollywood type of way. 

“The One” is as pervasive a myth in our culture as any and, yet, is more elusive than a sasquatch-unicorn love child.  It seems that Hollywood is the only place that “the one” has ever truly been spotted but that doesn’t keep hordes of men and women from every socio-economic background from endlessly pondering where “the one” may be hiding or lamenting the possibility of missing him or her like Uncle Rico in Napoleon Dynamite.

The movie Titanic may be the starkest example of the power of “the one.” 

Now, members of Revolution Church know how I feel about Titanic, it is an overly long, poorly acted soap opera with a few decent special effects polished off by a terrible Celine Dion song, which makes it a whirling vortex of suck.  Yet, note the arc of the story. Kate Winslet’s character is engaged to jerky capitalist Billy Zane (the rich are always the bad guys in Hollywood despite the fact that the people making the films are largely…well…rich), who is certainly not “the one” but then meets poor artist Leonardo Dicaprio who lives for the moment and is, therefore, a good candidate to be “the one.” Kate and Leo connect and then have a quicky in the back seat of a car (how romantic!) and then risk (SPOILER ALERT!) death to be together to the end…unfortunately for Leo his end comes more quickly because neither could snag another piece of driftwood.  Yet, we learn that Kate’s character has a happy, fulfilled life even after unlatching Leo’s cold dead fingers and shoving him into the deep because she loved “the one” even if only for a brief few hours. 

What a crock of crap!

I quoted Joshua Harris in a sermon a few weeks ago who reported on a study that successful couples actually disagree with each other at the same level as unsuccessful couples but the former simply find creative ways to deal with differences while the latter fail to do so. Thus, our marriages depend more on selfless commitment to the relationship than just finding “the one.”

The Hollywood perpetuated myth of “the one” has produced a high level of anxiety prompting many to constantly analyze their past for “wrong turns.”  A strange but unholy religious syncretism occurs when the myth is merged with a person’s faith.  The result is that many Christians have this strange “Calminean” view that God wrote a script out for each individual and if he or she flubs their lines or fails to enter on cue then the entire production is blown.  Again, the Uncle Rico syndrome.

Combatting the myth of the one is yet another reason for my fellow pastors to boldly preach and teach the sovereignty of God (Prov. 16:33; Acts 17:26; James 4:13-15, etc.).  God is in control.  Nothing happens without His approval and we can live in the security of knowing that He is all-knowing, all-wise and wholly good. 

It is thanks to God’s grace upon grace that I have been married for nearly 12 years to a woman who is almost nothing like me, so how do I know she is the person God wants me to be with? I married her…that’s how I know.

  1. Wouldn’t Jesus be “the one”? It seems odd that we would place such an expectation on another broken human being when everything we expect “the one” to be, Jesus essentially is…if that makes any sense?

    On a side-note; sasquatch-unicorn love child made me almost pee myself from laughing so hard. MATCH MAKER!

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