Jan 9, 2011

Day 9: suffering from the media fast

Pastor Duane, when first describing this fast to his congregration, urged his listeners to go on a media fast in addition to the Daniel fast in order to help disconnect themselves from the world. I have found this part particularly challenging, more so than I thought it would be. I was listening to worship music on the free internet radio Pandora when the following commercial played: "Want to keep connected to the world through news . . ." Integration with this world is the cry of this society, and it can take an effort to tune it out for a time. This is especially so for me with movies and tv. I didn't realize how I would miss them, for I considered myself to be a person that really doesn't watch tv that much, or netflix in my case. I am a Sci Fi fan, and I usually use it to relax. Now I am focusing away from watching netflix or youtube, reading secular fiction and humorous/interesting articles (you never know what could be in them), and listening to secular instrumental music (there's probably nothing wrong with these, but just in case).

Franklin says that your Christianity will cause you inconveniences. My friends are going to a movie next week and I had to say that I wouldn't be able to come. I am not going to complain though, because this self-denial is nothing compared to what others have given up for Christ. Still, it cost me something, and I know I'll have to continue to give up other things for Christ.

It has been both challenging and exciting to find new ways to relax. I brought out a newsletter from an organization I support but never had found the time to read till now. Christian inspirational stories are easy reads that are amusing and uplifting at the same time. The real struggle came when I was too tired to read. I won't watch tv and music is boring by itself. At the time, no one was available or willing to play a board game or just talk. Now what was I going to do? A friend suggested his favorite hobby, that is, drawing. That was perfect. Plus, I began to think of other possiblilites. I could develop a hobby I normally don't have time for. I like cooking (but that's out of the question for now), jewelry making, beading, candlemaking, photography, and scrapbooking. Any one of these could provide a creative and productive way to put itchy fingers to work. However, it may not be relaxing if my creative juices are dry at the end of the day. My search continues, but today was a little bit better as my whole family was home for once.

When I can find a group of people who want to play some board games or just talk, it is good fun. Even better, it brings people together into community that just otherwise doesn't happen consistently. I have spent this Sunday, this day of rest, catching up with friends and family, playing board games, reading inspirational stories, and filling drawings with color.

As I was thinking about the "tv" I used to watch, admittedly longing for a way to replace it, a somewhat embarrassing idea occured to me. I like to watch Britain's Got Talent. What if I saw a local production? I could, every day of the week if I wanted to, go to a live gymnastics show, play, magic show, ballet, talent show, symphony, orchestra, Christian concert, or other harmless event. I thought back to Medeival and Renaissance history. This is how kings entertained themselves. Much of human history has survived without tv. I need to go back and learn their ways. Besides, if children can find endless fun out of rocks, dirt, and cardboard boxes, I can find a way too.

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