The Sabbath: A Gift?September 2, 2013
Quicksand: Getting Stuck in the Past or the FutureSeptember 2, 2013
Satan Strategy Session circa early 1900’s:
“Okay demons, I know this sounds too good to be true, but the humans are about to invent something that is going to make our jobs incredibly easy. As a matter of fact this new thing they will call television will practically do our jobs for us.
“Now at first, as with all things, this TV will appear to be a good thing. But we will slowly turn it into our most effective weapon against them. We will, as always, be patient, waiting for our turn. But we will subtly introduce steadily descending content until finally, somewhere around the 2000’s, we will have them watching so much junk, they won’t even notice the junk has now turned to poison.
“And believe it or not, we will ultimately have them enslaved by their TV’s! Because remember our enemy’s words: ‘A man is a slave to whatever has mastered him.’ 2Peter 2:19 And I know this sounds crazy, but they will hardly be able to go even a day without their masters.”
I know, I know, I’m just meddling now. But plain and simple: TV is poisonous trash at its worst, brain-draining, and a yet another distraction at its best. It is a waste of time, always.
Now wasting a little time can be a good thing, if you are relaxing and refreshing. But then, of course, you’re not wasting time. But oh come on, there is not a lot of ‘refreshing’ going on on TV.
I read a quote somewhere:
Small minds discuss people.
Average minds discuss events.
Large minds discuss ideas.
To which I might add: “Lazy minds watch TV.”
I know I might be wasting my time, but here are a few steps to freedom:
- 1. Take the TV out of your bedroom. It has absolutely no benefit there. None.
- 2. Take the TV out of your kitchen. It’s just distracting background noise with zero value.
- 3. Never ever have the TV on as background noise.
- 4. Watch none of the “shows” and/or “series” on TV. They are all trash. They are written by and produced by people who have no semblance of your values.
And that trumps all your excuses and objections, doesn’t it? They are written and produced by people who have nothing – not one thing – in common with your value system.
- 5. Make a commitment to go two weeks without watching TV at all Monday – Thursday. (Okay, okay, exceptions for great sporting events)
The time you will gain back to your life will be astonishing. And your brain’s newfound clarity will be so refreshing. Perhaps you then will one day make the same observation as that of Eugene Peterson, author of The Message: “I haven’t had a TV in fifty years. I don’t know where I would find the time to watch one.”
A Stranger in Town
A few months before I was born, my Dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer and soon invited him to live with our family.
The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up, I never questioned his place in my family. In my young mind, he had a special niche. My parents were complementary instructors: Mom taught me the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it.
But the stranger? He was our storyteller. He would keep us spellbound for hours on
end with adventures, mysteries and comedies.
If I wanted to know anything about politics, history or science, he always knew the answers about the past, understood the present and even seemed able to predict the future! He took my family to the first major league ball game. He made me laugh, and he made me cry. The stranger
never stopped talking, but Dad didn’t seem to mind.
Sometimes, Mom would get up quietly while the rest of us were shushing each other to listen to what he had to say, and she would go to her room and read her books. (I wonder now if she ever prayed for the stranger to leave.)
Dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions, but the stranger never felt obligated to honor them.
Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our home… not from us, our friends or any visitors. Our long-time visitor, however, got away with four-letter words that burned my ears and made my dad squirm and my mother blush.
My Dad was a teetotaler who didn’t permit alcohol in the home, not even for cooking. But the stranger encouraged us to try it on a regular basis.
He made cigarettes look cool, cigars manly and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (much too freely!) about sex – and made it look easy and cool, as well.
His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I now know that my early concepts about relationships were influenced strongly by the stranger. Time after time, he opposed the values of my parents, yet he was seldom rebuked… and NEVER asked to leave.
More than fifty years have passed since the stranger moved in with our family. He has blended right in and is not nearly as fascinating as he was at first. Still, if you were to walk into my parent’s den today you would still find him sitting over in his corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
We just call him TV.