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Home Again

Tim Peach

Copy 2008 069“You moved back here from Los Angeles?” I was asked this question a million times when I moved back home to Kentucky. K-Mart cashiers, restaurant servers, mail carriers—everyone had the same opinion: I was a complete idiot. I had left the sun and fun of California just as Kentucky was experiencing the worst ice storm in the state’s history. And I was leaving behind my career as a television writer. I had been fortunate enough to work on some hit shows like Everybody Loves Raymond and The Drew Carey Show. I had socialized with celebrities. No one could understand how I could walk away from it all. The truth is I didn’t like who I was anymore.

 

Tim with Simpsons Copy DSC00823In the television industry, I worked sixteen-hour days that easily stretched to twenty. On Raymond, long days were usually the result of “creative differences” over plot points and punch lines. Much time was wasted on important matters like deciding where to order lunch or who would win in a race between Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell. I had fulfilled my childhood dream, but I was miserable. The pressure to give up my values and to act like everyone else was taking a toll. I was becoming irritable and abrasive. I stopped making time for people who cared about me. I was spending less time with God and was quickly losing my Christian perspective on life. I had become part of the Hollywood machine. I had forgotten not only who I was, but whose I was.

 

Changes

My life changed when I took a flyer from a young woman on Hollywood Boulevard. I was about to toss it when two street performers dressed as Wolverine and Elmo started to fight. The fight distracted me, and I kept the flyer. Later that night, I took out the flyer and read, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are” (Romans 3:22, NLT). It was a simple message: God loved me no matter who I had become.

Raymond 7

I prayed that night for forgiveness and asked God to change my life. In the following weeks, I felt that God was leading me out of Los Angeles. I turned down high-profile writing jobs because, in my heart, I knew I needed to get right with God. I packed my car and headed home.

Now, instead of having dinners with Ray Romano and Kevin James, I have dinners with my parents. Instead of going to Dodgers games with seats next to Ashley Tisdale, I go to my nephew’s little league games with a seat next to Chomper the dog. Instead of poring over TV scripts, I’m poring over the word of God. I know who I am now, and I know whose I am.

 

DIG DEEPER

When has being with a certain group of people made you forget who you are? How could you handle this kind of situation differently so that you remain true to yourself? Read 1 Corinthians 16:13–14. Pray that God will give you strength to be the person you were created to be.

Tim Peach , a writer from Kentucky, once snuck onto the set of Ocean’s Eleven just in time to eat cake and to sing “Happy Birthday” to George Clooney.

—from devozine (January/February 2010). Copyright © 2009 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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