Is TV Killing Your Dream?

The other day when I was with some friends, one of them said, “I just started watching ‘How I Met Your Mother’ again.”

Another responded, “Oh, there goes your summer.”

The first replied, “I know.”

I happen to know this person is looking for a new career, wants to start painting more, and has plenty of work to do on his house. Everybody chuckled, groaned a little, and yet there was no intention of or encouragement to change anything.

It’s normal to make small tragedies funny, but being funny doesn’t justify walking back into the tragedy.

Research says that Americans spend about 35 hours per week watching TV (including DVR and online streaming). That’s almost a full time job. What else can we do with that time?

I get angry when I hear people talk like my friends did above. It’s partly because I also hear them grumbling in discontent about their jobs and their lives, saying they wish they could travel or start their own business or write that book they’ve been meaning to write for the past five years. Yet on the weekends or during the week after work (their only free time to try to pursue their dreams), their default is to drop themselves onto that big plush couch and stare at that colorful box until bed.

And they’re confused as to why they feel a general malaise about their life.

We as Christians have even less of an excuse for this behavior. We don’t have the luxury of saying, “Oh well, I don’t have a purpose to live for. I have nothing better to do.” We are called to bring God’s kingdom to this world through everything we do.

What is your dream? Have you felt called to start a supper club to get to know your neighbors? Or use your graphic design skills to make inspiring posters with positive themes? Maybe you feel called to spend time with your lonely mother. Maybe you want to start a blog, or at least take a shot at it. How will you know if you don’t try?

What is your mission? Or what might it be? What will give you that purpose you know is within you? What will bring you alive again? If you are having trouble figuring it out, message me. I’d love to help you. Find me on Facebook. We can chat.

If you have a bestie, or a roommate, or a boyfriend/girlfriend, do you have “your shows” you watch together? Is silently facing a colorful box better for your relationship than doing something where you talk? Better question: are you watching the box for more hours than you are actually doing something where you talk and interact? When was the last time you cooked, took a walk, talked about God, or did a devotional together? I know it takes more work, but we have the power within us to reach our goals and strengthen our relationships.

Have you spent time in prayer today? Or read the Bible? This is something we know we should do more, but we so willingly let TV shows steal away that time as well.

The next time you hear about a new show or a new season of your show, don’t act like you’re helplessly being reeled in like a fish on a hook. You have a choice. At that moment of decision, ask yourself this phrase: “Am I willing to give up my dream for this show?”

That’s a bold question. If you want to give this a better chance of sticking, try saying it out loud. 

If you’re like me, where every now and then I choose to watch a show “as a break,” let’s make sure it stays that way. When you hear yourself say, “Just one more,” or your friend turns to you and suggests you watch another episode, say, “How about we bake that cake for the old lady next door like we’ve been talking about?” Or whatever beautiful thing it is you’ve been wanting to do.

Am I willing to give up my dream for this show?

Now, go out into the world and stop making jokes about how TV ate up your whole weekend. Pursue your dream and your calling. 

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