I love my shows. I love them. I enjoy watching them marathon-style, from Pilot til Finale. I’ve watched Friends, How I Met Your Mother, Gilmore Girls, Grey’s Anatomy, New Girl, and while some of those are still running, I was waiting for the new seasons to come on Netflix.
I had been watching The Office in order, for the first time. I found myself in season 5, and I was enjoying it. Really.
I’m also a huge fan of movies. Good ones. The ones that make me laugh and cry within an hour, those.
But if I took a look at myself from outside of my body, if I could just float off and look down for a moment, I’d see a really frustrating thing: me, just sitting there.
I would argue that I’M RESTING and it’s totally okay to rest, and I’m vegging out, but in reality, for me, I was checking out. CHECKING OUT. There’s a ridiculous difference.
I did this on the World Race, when I watched ALL of the Friends episodes… in the last 2 months. I checked out. And when things are tough, it’s so so easy to just sit there and stare at a screen. It’s SO easy. It calls me. It says “woohoo, over here, let’s laugh with Dwight!” and it sounded good, so I did.
The problem is that I would look back and one day went by and I didn’t do that ONE THING I wanted to do, and did Netflix instead. A week goes by, and I’m mid-season on The Office and completely behind on the current episode of MY LIFE.
And I saw an increase of my FLESH wanting to have a say in my choices more and more and more. Maybe it was because I was watching shows that didn’t emphasize how important Jesus is? Maybe it was because what they do on those shows is NOT how I live my life? Maybe this screen is teaching my brain that those kinds of choices are normal, when they’re not my normal? Yeah, sure, all those things.
Scientist ol’ me noticed a TREND, a PATTERN. I would struggle immeasurably more when I was feeding my eyes and ears those shows, versus when I wasn’t. I started to think about how defensive I got when I even CONTEMPLATED canceling Netflix. Hahaha. That’s a problem. If there’s anything in your life that makes you say “NO WAY IT’S TOTALLY OKAY I AM GOOD AND FINE AND IT’S NOT EVEN RELATED TO THAT THING” then make a note. Just a small note. That could be the very thing because you got so very defensive about it. Note that when you do that thing, your sin nature roars a little bit. Just notice it. You don’t have to do anything about it, as most people don’t anyway. Just notice it.
Is watching shows evil? Nah. Is it like playing in the mud? Yep. You get a little bit messy. Some people can handle it, some cannot. Some things stick. And you gotta have a THICK filter to watch tv. Most of you wouldn’t let your kids near that junk, yet you think it’s okay for you. Because they’re innocent and you’re tainted? Nah. You’re not tainted. If you think you’re tainted, you don’t understand Jesus and you need to think about what He did for you. You’re super innocent. Righteous. You don’t need to be watching certain things, but you’re grown up and you get to decide that.
I canceled Netflix because I had a choice. I could have kept it, easily. Nobody ever came up to me and said “Hey Hey Helena, you should probably stop wasting your life staring at a stupid screen watching a stupid show that causes repercussions in your behavior because it feeds your flesh. And you should probably stop checking out from your amazing life, and maybe go outside and maybe read a book that makes you think, and maybe you should retrain yourself to enjoy things that are good and not this kind of cheap entertainment that the world feasts on. You’re not cheaply entertained, and you’re not a cheap audience.”
Like I said, nobody said that to me. Would they have been 100% right in doing so if they had? OH YEAH, and I probably would have gotten defensive. But nobody did. This was ALL my heart deciding that I was tired of making easy choices. My heart said to the Lord “Hey, I wanna seek Your Face” and the Lord said back “Awesome! Come on!!” and that conversation, I decided, is going to continue, because I’m in love. I’m in love love love. I’m in love with Jesus. Obsessed. And He reminds me every single day that I have the power to say a big, loud NO to my flesh. When I want to listen to certain music, I yell out NO. And I put on different music. When I think about watching hours of shows, I just yell out NO. And it goes away. It works. I find something else to do.
Is there freedom to do whatever I want? Yes. But while everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial. I’m tired of living on the outskirts of beneficial, stepping in and out. I want to choose out of love, to choose the good portion, to my ultimate advantage.
There is only so much time here on earth, for now. I have huge dreams. I want to live them. I want to yell YES to them. My YES is ready. My time is now.
Today I woke up early, went to work, and afterwards, I hiked a mountain. I watched the sunset. I got a manicure and pedicure. In the evening, I talked on the phone with my friends, and I laughed so much. I made chicken, rice, beans, and potatoes, like the legit Brazilian I am, and I had time to write tomorrow’s devotional, and write this blog.
This is bigger than Netflix.
I’m done checking out.
Maybe you are too? Maybe not yet. I sure pray, though, that you can catch some of my breakthrough. It’s a sweet, sweet freedom. I can do whatever I want, and all I want is Love.