Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life without TV, sane or insane?

My church recently concluded a 21 day fast. Now, not everyone can go 21 days without food and while I could I felt it would have made me a less effective worker at my job so I asked God to give me something else significant I could fast. Over the last 7 years I've gone on various fasts including short term food fasts. All of them have ended up changing me at least a little and IMO for the better. I don't enter fasts to end up improving myself but to honour God. He just does that as a gift because he is God and God loves his children so much more than they deserve.

Anyways, I gave up TV for the fast and while the fast ended on Sunday night I am still going. I look at my blank TV screen once in a while and think maybe I should throw it on. I mean I have a PVR(cable is included in my rent so not watching TV while living here isn't going to save me anything) and I have 6 hours of Christian teaching to watch never mind anything else I may want to partake in. My TV viewing has changed significantly over the last several years. The stuff I tend to watch more so now is cerebral or socially interactive or a little of both. I like Survivor and Amazing race because I like to see how people think out situations and I can discuss it with friends/family during and/or after the broadcast. I enjoy sports too but more for watching how the players react to stress than just watching the pretty plays.

I think I'll give sports it's own paragraph since I don't have to follow conventional story structure :)

Sports was a big part of my watching. At one time I could watch pretty much anything that was a competition. From Darts to hockey to poker to curling to etc etc etc. I still watch Hockey, a little CFL, some golf and auto racing. Hockey has been king for me in the past. I lived and died with the Canucks. A side of me comes out I don't particularly like when I watch the Canucks. I get frustrated with the bad calls, I get angry at the opposing team players and I act with less grace towards fans of other teams especially when the Canucks are pitted against them. I have lost a lot of my passion for it but it is still there. I mean before coming to the Christ I went through tremendous highs and lows. Sports could make my day good or bad depending on the outcome. It was ridiculous and it now looks absurd to me but I know that ungrateful wretch is still there in my sinful nature. I want to be able to watch a game still but not at any cost. It is something I will hopefully not have to drop entirely but it may come to that. After the fast started I became aware how much Canuck paraphernalia was hanging around my place. I never intended it to be but my place was like a shrine to the hockey gods. Thankfully I wasn't bowing to them but I got rid of half the stuff and am not sure about what I have left. At least it doesn't dominate the suite anymore.

Several significant relationships I am developing are with people who don't watch TV or at least seldom do. A couple of them were developing for months before the fast. The other started soon after the fast started. This most recent one is particularly important to me as it is something that could be life changing(not that all new friends aren't life changing to a certain degree but this one is even more significant I believe). I planned on watching TV on Monday, then on Tuesday and was at my Mum's on Wednesday and she watches it a lot but I asked her not to and so here we are at Thursday and the Canucks are playing the Wings in an hour. I fully intended on watching this game just yesterday but now I am wavering. The question is do I want to receive or give or both. TV is mostly receiving and often not very improving of yourself as opposed to reading non fiction which can lead to wisdom and knowledge depending on what you do with it. I don't have any plans today for a change(I've been pretty busy) and I think I will spend my time reading if nothing else pops up.

I must say one of the huge benefits of not watching TV has been in my visits with my Mum. I see her virtually every Wednesday for dinner(and often one more visit at random times during the week) and these past 4 weeks have been the best visits I've ever had with her and I mean EVER. It has been a huge blessing, God is good! Totally an unexpected benefit and a very welcome gift from Papa.

In conclusion, I can totally see watching TV again but I'm pretty sure it has been placed way further down the priority list than it was just 25 days ago. I love my life with God as my guide. It is always interesting and revealing. I never know what is going to happen but bring it on!!

Sane or insane? You decide for yourself.

Blessings to you and for you!! James

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