Winding Down My Television

Tonight is the season ending two hour 24 episode. A friend is coming over for dinner to watch it with me. Wednesday is the two hour season ending Lost episode. My wife is really looking forward to seeing it and we both think the raft will end up back at the island. After this week all my addictions go off new programming and several have been cancelled (Enterprise and Joan of Arcadia) so I won’t even be as sorely tempted as in the past come late September.

My real goal is to radically limit my television viewing from June onward to less than an hour a day on average, if that. Except for sports I will be down to one or possibly two shows next year (Lost and I am not sure what else). But even with that it really is remarkable how much time we (us American Christians) spend on entertainment. I bet if most Christians just tithed out of their entertainment hours as a gift of time back to God (over and above the Sunday service), the church would be radically transformed.

I actually would like to kick the habit almost entirely, which we once did for two years while I finished college, but then we got a VCR and a new television and proceeded to go on a 3 month movie binge. We just don’t have a lot of will power over here.

Sometimes when I am trying to deal with this issue I feel like I am dealing with a drug addiction (not from first hand experience on anything worse than caffeine but you know what I mean) that has not just me but the whole Christian community in its grip. Sometimes I lament like Paul in Romans 7 and ask who shall rescue me from this body of media craving, which I am sure causes me to be less than productive in my efforts at sanctification. The answer is the same as for Paul: Jesus Christ, my Lord. But then I have to admit that I feel a bit like Augustine when he was praying to be freed from lust and sort of hedged for a while by saying “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.” For me it is “Dear Lord, couldn’t we deal with this after I find out how Stargate Atlantis overcomes the invasion of the Wraith, and oh yes, I want to find out if Commander Adama survived the assassination attempt by Boomer who is really a Cylon. And Lord, what if come fall next winter Jack is back?”

Yep. I need a lot of help…