Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Media Detox

This week our country was plagued by a massive storm that ripped through the center of the country leaving in its wake death and destruction. Tornadoes and winds lay waste to buildings and memories. Lives were shattered. Homes destroyed. Whole towns reduced to rubble.
My heart breaks for the lives forever changed by this storm. I cannot even begin to imagine the surreal feeling of losing everything in the blink of an eye. How can the mind comprehend such massive devastation and loss? It is beyond words.
This November storm didn't hit my home with the same force as it did those in Illinois, Kentucky and other central US states. The winds whipped here but there was no tornado. Rains pounded but there was no flooding or hail. Still this storm has made me take pause and reevaluate how I live my life.
For some time my life has been on automatic pilot. I wake up in the morning and turn on the TV, make my breakfast while watching Fox and Friends then proceed with walking Pippy and the rest of the days activities. My devotional time in the morning has become brief and my prayers even briefer. The rest of my day is filled with other electronic sources and distractions that draw me away from getting close to God. Instead I substitute an iPad or iPhone. I'm hooked on iDistraction.
But this week that has changed. With the winds of the storm my home's cable and internet got knocked out of operation. At first I was frustrated. Like many modern day Americans I have grown accustomed to being connected to the outside world via electronic sources. I am a google addict. I check my Facebook daily. I stay up on my e-mails. I read certain news websites, blogs and websites daily. Suffice it to say, I waste an inordinate amount of time "plugged" in.
Until the connection went out. When the TV went black and the internet popped up with "Try again later" I became forced to unplug - thank God.
By turning off the TV and powering down the computer I have found that I have much more time for the important practices of Christian life that I've been neglecting. Prayer time had been replaced with internet surfing time; devotionals had been substituted with TVs lousy offerings. It pains me to think of the time I've wasted on the mindless garbage of this world while I could have been opening up the treasures of God's Word.
With no distractions to steal my attention, these past few days I have had the blessed opportunity to turn to the Bible instead of turning to the tube. My morning news has been replaced with morning scripture readings. Christian books and devotionals have taken the place of evening HGTV and TLC reruns.
There are four major lessons I have learned this week while being on media/electronic detox. These are lessons I desperately needed (and continue to need) to learn. Although the process of recovery from my electronic addiction has begun it is still far from over.
The lessons I have learned can be summed up into baby steps. I need to remind myself of them daily and put them into practice to continue on my media detox even after the internet connection is restored.

4 Steps to Media/Electronic Detox

1.     During breakfast enjoy the morning meal with Bible reading instead of TV watching. No computer, no cell phone, no ipad. Enjoy a meal in the company of God’s word.
2.     Replace a half hour of evening TV watching with reading. The reading can be a book for pure pleasure or more Bible reading. Take the time to engage your mind in the act of engaging the mind by reading instead of always listening to sounds and watching screens.
3.     Tune out the shows, music and media that send messages contrary to Biblical teaching. This will automatically eliminate a vast majority of watching/listening/viewing material.
4.     Read a Psalm before bed. Instead of going to sleep with the sounds and messages of TV shows floating through your mind, close your day with the promises of God. 

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