Okay, so recently I have been feeling my over-dependence on slothfulness…and my biggest enabler of being a three-toed tree climber is the good ol’ television. It has become way too much of the highlight of my day to go vegetable on the couch in front of TV’s “warm glowing warming glow” (a quote from Homer Simpson himself). But it is more than just the laziness invlovled, it is a bit deeper.
It is escapism. I am trying to lose myself in TV. Not that there is anything inherently wrong with getting wrapped up in a show or movie, it is just that it can be what “gets you through the day.” Anything that you need to “get through” something that is not related to God is probably not a good thing. So escapism is a problem for me. I admit it. But as I dig through my growing TV addiction conviction, it seems there are even more issues involved.
I am allowing what I watch to invade my mind. Not that I am watching anything bad, but I find that my mind is grabbing on to quotes from shows, funny scenes, or just anything from TV (including commercials). These play through my mind all day. When a situation comes up, I jump to something I watched recently. I am spurred on by the created show/movie/commercial…not the Creator of all of everything. Shouldn’t the Spirit be speaking to me and not Michael Scott? I am drowning out the movement of the power and wisdom of God in my life with the blaring sounds of the world. This can’t be a good thing. It can’t.
I know this is probably linked to something deeper. Okay, not probably. The heart is that I am worshipping at the chruch of Joe. Pride and self-idolatry is the real issue. I have been reading a lot in the Old Testament about how the Israelites kept turning away from God to idols…even in the desert with the thunder and lightening of God dancing with Moses on the mountain top just down the road where they can see. How more likely am I to turn to idols? All throughout the prophets, God is begging Israel to turn away from these, smash them up, and trust him. I do believe he is wanting me to do the same. This weekend the Spirit started showing me some of my idols…it is weird but they all seem to have my face. I do love ME too much.
So how do I start smashing idols? Discipline and listening to the move of the Spirit in my heart. This is what led me to the conversation with LA after church that has resulted in our Unplugged Challenge. We are unplugging from our TV. We are going to do this for a week. We will move from there once the week is over and see if it needs to be longer. No using TV as a way to drown out God. We are going to seek him and each other this week. I am looking forward to it. So far, so good. (Sidenote…we don’t have cable or anything, so unplugging for us includes Netflix and Hulu online.)
Here is the thing. Paul said in Philippians 4:8- 9 (NLT), “And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.” Basically, what ever is worthy of God is what we should dwell on. We so often don’t. We think about things that are fun, entertaining, or interesting. We don’t think of the things of God as much because sometimes that can be hard and challenging. Sometimes it means breaking down our pride. Smashing our Me Idols. Who likes to do that?
I would like to give you the challenge to pick something you need to unplug from. I triple dog dare you to take the Unplugged Challenge. What do you need to give up for a week so you can hear the gentle voice of the Spirit leading you closer to him? What “Me Idols” do you need to smash or at least get a good look at and allow God to help you smash? Will you take the challenge for a week and give something up?
What is your “something in the way” that you can give up for a week? What is it that you are using, consiously or unconsiously, to run away from God in your life in small or big ways? Do you think you can take the challenge for a week?