Living A Simple Life-Part 25 (A Perspective on Television)

Simple Thurs

When checking our e-mail the other day, I was amused and saddened by this article.  I originally clicked on it, when all I saw of the title was “U.S. Unprepared…” Out of curiosity as to what this dreaded need might be, I clicked on it to read the article in its entirety.  In that moment, I imagined all sorts of “life-or-death” matters.

But once I realized the topic (“U.S. Unprepared for Digital TV Switch Demand: Report“), I giggled, and thought, “Now why is that a problem?”  As I read further, I could only shake my head in disbelief.  
At the end of the article, New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson is quoted as saying, “A lot of people are going to come home the day after this conversion takes place and they are going to wonder what … happened to their television.”  
Oh, can you imagine that day?  
There is such a potential for people to be freed from the bondage of T.V., and yet it is seen as a disaster, not a joyous event.  Every day, heinous sins, murders, uncouth language and attitudes pour forth from glowing screens.  Families are ignored, as individuals face the screen instead of each other.  
I have sat in the living rooms of many homes, filled with the sensation of unrest, as the T.V. remains on as a constant “companion” and “background.”  Whether it is playing loudly or muted, images flash across the screen.  Between the sounds and the shows, the simple pleasures of life are being drowned out.  And in a deeper sense, these distractions often drown out the One who should be our most welcome guest.  
Can you imagine such a glorious day when people could live with a constant ear toward Christ’s call, instead of the commercials’ directives? This may seem like an overly Utopian thought, but perhaps they could begin to realize the fulfillment of a life that is not constantly hearing detrimental messages (regarding self image, product purchasing, etc.).  If you haven’t seen The Story of Stuff, I recommend viewing this 20 min. program.  It is not from a Christian perspective, necessarily, but it definitely provides a unique perspective for further thought.  
I was once the sort of person who came home after work, and turned on the evening news everyday.  The T.V. stayed on, as my roommates and I watched evening shows late into the night; even watching programs as we exercised at the gym!  On nights home alone, I turned to the television programming for company and entertainment.  Finally, the day I held my baby girl (waiting for me under a playing television), I turned it off.  
The dichotomy of the priceless, preciousness of real life, and the false, saccharin programs was instantly obvious.  I finally realized the theft T.V. was instilling in my life:  The theft of my attentions (toward God and the roles He had for me with friends and family), the theft of my time (away from preparing nourishing food, and serving others), and the theft of my morality. Even the lighthearted or educational shows were stealing me away (not that their content was deplorable; just the mere fact that I was so invested in them was disappointing).  
It is such peaceful freedom to realize that my life is no longer controlled by a desire not to miss a show, nor am I inured to sinful, immodest lifestyles (and thus, justifying such life habits in my own life).  I can walk through grocery stores without searchimg for the “latest flavor” that had been recently advertised.  My seasons no longer cycle around the “Semi-Annual Sales,” in search of the perfect accessory in “the” color.  
I can live simply enjoying all that God brings to my day.  And now, I don’t wonder “what happened to my television;” I wonder how I ever lived with it.  
So, have you turned off your television?  How do you handle this issue at your house?  I’d love to hear!  
If you would like to put my “Simple Living” button on your blog, feel free to copy & paste the code located on the right side of the page.  Let me know if you do, so that I can visit your blog! To read previous “installments” in my “Living a Simple Life” series, click on the “Simple Living” tab at the top of the page.  You are welcome to leave comments on any of the posts; I read them all.  Each Thursday, I write a new post in this series, so stop by next week!  
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