Yesterday morning I was sitting in church and felt convicted that I needed to become more creative with my children again. I had found myself resorting to the easy and obvious things to do as a family. We have set the parameter in our home that there is no (or very seldom) media during the week – only on the weekends. Yet, perhaps that boundary was being stretched a bit – could it be that we had too much media? Perhaps! So I decided that when we got home I was going to ask the kids if they wanted to play outside and build a fort and make a fire. Amazingly they were pumped about it. And one of my kids even decided not to go to a friend’s house to play because she wanted to play outside with Dad…(the story continues at the end of this blog).
One of the key concepts in Christianity is the idea of being “buried with Christ in the likeness of His death and raised to walk in newness of life.” This is a picture of taking ourselves off of the throne of our lives and living full on for Jesus! Where He is actually the head/leader/Lord of our lives.
One of the ways that Christians can continue to grow and be reminded of this is by fasting. It is amazing what happens in terms of a perspective change with a short one or three-day fast. One gets hungry – even desperate to eat – and yet this simple discipline reminds us that our very life is in the hands of God. HE created food; He created us. We need food to survive and without it we die, yet, when we eat well every day – seldom do we even think about this need. We get carried away by so many other distractions that we forget how important food is. This good thing (food), can become really unhealthy for us if we are not careful what we ingest and how much.
When I take this idea and put it into the context of media and its consumption in our lives, many thoughts and ideas come to mind. Media in and of itself is not bad. There are bad things that have been produced in the media world – but media is not inherently bad. What I think happens is that it can become an unhealthy thing quickly if we are not careful. What we consume and how much, are both killers. But the question is still there – where is the line? How much is too much?
I have a challenge for you – that may again answer the question or beg for more answers.
Try fasting from all media for a period of time. Try it once or perhaps on a regular basis. See what happens to you personally and to your family? What would your work life look like without ‘extra’ media intake? I am not suggesting that if your job requires you to use email that you shouldn’t reply to people! But how about you put some parameters on it for a week?
- Maybe you turn off your work emails at the end of the day so that none of them will come to your phone in the evening?
- Perhaps no phones, tablets, TV, internet at home for a week or more?
- No movies – not even late at night once your kids are in bed – NONE!!
I guarantee that this will reveal things about you! You will see if you are an addict; if you are dependent; if you have a ‘god’ in your life. You will learn if you have become an uncreative, lazy, boring evening parent or not!
(Continuing the story…) We went outside after lunch for the better part of the afternoon. We attempted to build a fort, we tobogganed, we had a huge fire (my daughter build it), we roasted marshmallows, we threw snow at each other, we laughed a lot and we had stories to share for the rest of the evening. Never once did we think that we were missing out with the lack of media.
Later in the evening we were so pooped, that a movie became a treat not an expectation. And it almost felt like we deserved it, we had worked so hard!
I lay down that evening with a smile on my face. God’s plan had worked for that day. Thank you Jesus.
Challenge: FAST from Media! Tell me your story. What did you learn about yourself? I am telling you – it is worth it every time!