Who says the Lord doesn’t speak loudly enough? For instance, I am in a dramatic struggle to break a television habit.
Actually, I hate most of what’s on television. It’s inane, often boring, sometimes disturbing and predominately offensive. The news channels are not objective, do not respect my intelligence, and give only one side of the argument. Commercial drivel drives me batty. Apart from a few bright lights of exceptional programming, we are paying for what looks like a passel of reality shows with extraordinary opportunists grabbing their brief moment in the limelight, for endless infomercials, and for outrageous talk shows that demean their participants.
So why do I have a television habit, in that I watch too much TV? It seems I have a television habit when my mind goes into a fog about 6:00 at night. For six months last year, I was on an intensive nutritional program, working with a clinical nutritionist. I felt the best I had felt in a lifetime, and went straight through the day from 5:00 in the morning to around 9:00 at night without brain fog, an aching afternoon back or any physical lassitude. During this whole time, I watched barely any television.
It appears my television habit is more a health problem than it is an addiction. So why don’t I get back on the nutritional plan if it did me so much good? Simple answer: It costs a whole lot of money—around 800 to 1000 dollars every month and a half. Insurance, of course, doesn’t cover anything that keeps you healthy; only the things that cure your ills.
So one morning (no brain fog early in the day), I finished a book I’ve read before. It is Sacred Reading by Michael Casey and deals with learning to develop the habit of a deep reading of the Word. It was so good that I read all the endnotes, often highlighting excellent quotes.
Then I read this endnote on Thomas Merton, the Catholic priest/contemplative:
“Thomas Merton was fierce and extreme on this point. ‘The life of the television-watcher is a kind of caricature of contemplation. Passivity, uncritical absorption, receptivity, inertia. Not only that, but a gradual, progressive yielding to the mystic attraction until one is spellbound in a state of complete union. The trouble with this caricature is that it is really the exact opposite of contemplation. Contemplation is the summit of a life of spiritual freedom. The other, the ersatz, is the nadir of intellectual and emotional slavery.’”
Thwacked!—and by the endnotes at that. So after some careful prayer and consideration, I am not attempting to break my television habit. Instead I’m working hard to set aside the funds, get back into the advisement of my nutritionist, and become healthy enough again that I feel great and active and lively for the whole day.
Looks to me like God speaks loudly enough.
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.