Monday, February 4, 2008

Did God just turn off the TV?

I am not addicted to television; it is just a bad habit. Under the guise of a quick escape from reality, it became a time-consuming excuse to avoid more enlightening activities. If I could stay awake to watch TV at night, why couldn't I use that time to be more productive? That reality kept creeping into the escape. I felt a nudge to reprioritize.

In April 2007, I made a commitment to eliminate all programs containing violence from my television line-up (for at least the remainder of 2007). This drastically reduced my options on TV and significantly decreased the amount of time I spent watching TV - for awhile. Although it was challenging, I did find shows to watch that did not contain violence.

I thought the Hollywood writer's strike might contribute to cuting down time spent on the mindless programs. Apparently, I was having a hard time breaking this habit on my own. Then, our TV began to just turn off at random times. Sometimes it would stay on for 10 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes, sometimes hours.

At first, I could wait anywhere between 2 to 20 minutes, and it would work again. How could I become absorbed in a story when I could not predict where in the plot the TV would turn off or if I could turn it back on before the show was over? I thought, "Okay, I get the message. I need to be doing something other than turning on the TV each night to settle down, but ........"

A few weeks ago, I moved from the realization of the need to change my habit to the implementation of change. First, I needed a push in that direction. The TV turned off and no longer came back on.

The TV is less than two years old, but no longer under warranty. I had tried everything in the manual. It is not even the only TV in our house, so we are not about to buy another one, right now. What choice did I have but to concentrate on more meaningful activities?

For the past few weeks, I have been reading, journaling, and praying instead of watching TV before I go to bed. Much more productive and enjoyable! What was I escaping in the first place? God may not have turned off my TV, but he certainly spoke to me about how to better use my time.

1 comment:

Lysa TerKeurst said...

Hi Michelle~
I once turned off the TV for 2 years and God used it in such a powerful way. It broke my addiction, gave me time to do other meaningful things, and was a step of obedience God honored in a big way.

May it be so for you as well---

Oh and I love your She Speaks Hannah Montana song choice! Perfect!!!