I noticed some things happening right away. Oddly I would go to bed when I was tired, not when the show ended. Who knew!! I finished a few books that were sitting on my shelf for too long. And, I replaced TV with... dum da da dum... internet time, specifically Faceb**k. What? Isn't this supposed to be some glorious post about how I'm out there living life with no TV? Sorry to fail you, I'm human you know. I love the connection that Faceb**k allows me to have without having to worry that it's too late at night to call or that I may have to cut you off just in the best part of our conversation because someone or something needs me. It's a quick peek into other people's lives when I need a break from my own and it's an outlet for my witty thoughts and comments which might be lost on my younger crowd. (ok I might be stretching a bit on that last one.) But really there is an addiction factor to it, too.
The heart is deceitful above all things, and
desperately wicked: who can know it?
Oh, I'm not saying Faceb**k, the internet or even television are "wicked" necessarily. I absolutely do not want to argue the value, or lack there of, of any of it. This is simply about a calling, if you will, for me to minimize these outside sources of input in order to hear God more clearly. My point is the natural drift that occurs in my life because of a heart that is untrustworthy... wicked. The temptation to fill the time I've opened up with more and more... stuff. (I'm like that with clutter, too, but that's a whole other post... or two!!). You may know the verses in the Bible that go something like this, what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to do, I do it. The passage ends like this in the NIV:
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who
will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
In this stage of my life, with the kids at the ages they are, and Andrew's work schedule as it is, I've found my quiet time with God is at night. In the past I have fought and fought trying to fit in time to read His Word and have moments of worship and prayer, constantly battling interruptions or other draws for my attention. The time was there all along, I was just filling it up with... stuff. Do you see the war waging there? I want the time up yet I keep filling it!
I think the critical turning point came when I stopped trying to turn away from something, TV time to start with, and began desiring time with God even more. I have longed for time with Him, I have prayed that I would long for it even more, enough so that priorities would align themselves appropriately. Slowly, time with the Lord, reading with the kids, even quietness, are becoming more attractive than the alternatives that were so hard to deny in the past. I honestly don't miss television, which I have not been able to say in the past. In fact, recently our connection to the converter box was broken which means the ability to watch our four stations is now not an option. I have to chuckle, it happened at the perfect time! No big deal, I'm not missing anything.
And so, I continue on this pilgrimage, winning some, losing some... losing lots, but I feel pretty good about the TV deal, like I actually followed through on something... kind of. Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!