Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Put my TV in my Closet and Started Living Intentionally

About a month ago I purchased a roku.  It does what it says it does - it streams Internet based video to your television without needing to hook your computer up to your tv. My laptop is old and doesn't play video well and we don't have cable - so the idea of being able to watch hulu or netflix in my room was appealing!

And, that's exactly what I did. I watched hulu in my room. Come to find out, having access to thousands of tv show to watch whenever you want - - not necessarily a good thing! ;-)   I'd turn on something for background noise while I did other more productive things -- but soon found myself sucked into the time-waster that is television.  I finished watching the few shows that I keep in my hulu queue - and went on a search for something else to entertain me - - other prime time TV shows that I had never paid attention to in the past. I suddenly needed to watch all the episodes from season one forward.

Needless to say, my time was getting wasted. And, prime time TV is often anything but "true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, or worthy of praise." (Phil 4:8)  If time-wasting wasn't enough -surrounding myself with the glorification of envy, vengeance, lust, and greed was certainly not a beneficial activity.

So, I told my self that I should cut back. That I should not turn on the roku box after I got off work at 11 p.m. and instead, go to sleep. That I should make sure I got other things done first.  And all that talking to myself didn't really do much good.

Then a couple weeks ago the sermon at church was on Matthew 5:27-32. That passage includes these verses
29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

The pastor talked about warning signs in our Christian faith. As if you're driving down a narrow winding mountain road and signs warn you to take the curve carefully - - you can heed the warning signs and make it safely down - - or you can rest confident in your own understanding and speed down the road before flying off the side of the mountain.

The combination of the couple of weeks of me fighting with what I knew I should do (less TV) and what I wanted to do (relax and be entertained), the realization that it was often a harmful activity rather than just simply being a pointless activity, and the sermon that focused on verses instructing us to cut off that which causes me to sin meant that I came home from church and unplugged my TV.  I then put my hulu and netflix accounts on hold - making it a little more complicated than just sticking in a plug in order to watch TV.

And all of this dovetailed with another common thread of my thoughts and prayers lately - living intentionally. Using the 24 hours I get each day with purpose. Not productivity - - but purpose.  So I started a list - things I wanted to do, things I needed to implement into my life, etc. The next day that I had off work I started the morning by wrapping the TV up in bubble wrap and  sticking it in the closet. I rearranged my room and got the sewing machine set up so that it would be easy to use. I put my stationary in arms reach of my desk. I de-cluttered my life a bit - getting rid of things I no longer needed or wanted. 

It's been a good week. I've created things, visited with people, been purposeful about encouraging others, filled my ears with praise, and have gotten more (and better) rest.  I hope to share some more of this on my blog - especially some of my sewing/craft projects and thoughts on the non-visual aspects of intentional living I am trying to implement.


  1. Love this post. I can relate so much. I need to follow in your footsteps though in different regards (I'm thinking Facebook and that's kind of embarrassing to even admit).

  2. I'd love to hear more about your new way of living intentionally. It's something I'm still wrestling with.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. How awesome! What a great idea. I honestly could cut the TV although my siblings help by always watching mine instead of the one for the house!

    It's easy to get so sucked into tv and the internet. I would by lying if I said I didn't spend WAY to much time on both. I'm not sure if I'm ready to unplug but I have found when I make lists I tend to get more accomplished (not sure if it's all purposeful).

  4. good post! i just said yesterday that if i turned the tv off i'd probably be more productive; tho at times it is nice to watch and hang out (we're debating getting rid of cable - and just after getting the new set!) i have it on too often and get too attached to it.

    i believe it is true that most of the programs are not "worthy of praise"; tho, i still watch a lot of old shows (i.e. sue thomas, promised land, etc), but they're harder to find.

    i've also felt, tho, a similar type of conviction(?) re my reading. perhaps a challenge to go outside my own inclinations to material/info God would have me read in order that i might make a difference or understand more.

    sounds like you've taken the call God issued for you, which is inspiring to see. excited for you!

  5. Bravo! Although we still have a TV, we canceled cable about 6 years ago and have never looked back. It's so good of you to use that time encouraging others and getting CREATIVE. God will bless you in those endeavors.