I started a love affair when I was a mere child. I grew up on television. I loved everything about it. I loved the programs and thought they were my constant companion. Much of my time growing up was spent in front of the television. When I woke up in the mornings, I turned it on. When I went to bed, I turned it off. I remember when my Mom went to work part time one of the first purchases was a color television. Was there nothing better than that? I loved the programs so much that when a series finally ended, I cried like a baby. I felt like I lost my friends. As I grew up, I never fell out of love with my television. When I had to have an internship to graduate from my college, I decided to try an internship at a local television station. I was a business major and had no idea what I could do there, but I went asking. I graduated and the station called for me to return. I worked for the next five years in three different television stations. When cable started in the 1980’s, I was on board. I upgraded to a television that could handle the new communication tool.
Over the last few years, my love affair was revealed to me as a hindrance to my relationship with Jesus. It wasn’t necessarily bad, but it had a greater role in my life than it should have. I switched from cable to satellite in 2008 when I was cutting my expenses to afford my new schooling. In 2011, I dropped the level of channels that I received to the “family” plan. In 2012, the Holy Spirit started working on me about some of the programs I had been watching. Again, they weren’t all that bad, but it interfered with my desire of being holy in His sight. Soon after, I stopped watching one of my favorite shows. I made a decision that I wouldn’t watch any new programming. All of this was a process. I didn’t go cold turkey, but as the Holy Spirit guided me, I responded in obedience. Up until the last year, the Holy Spirit started working on me to remove the satellite dish totally. I had given up so much already, what’s the harm with watching through the satellite?
The receiver in my bedroom started acting up. I would get half of the channels for weeks at a time. I would call the company, and they would offer their advice on how to fix it. The fixes were only temporary. I struggled with it for over a year. But the real struggle was in my spirit. I knew I needed to let it go, but I just couldn’t pull the plug. With the Holy Spirit’s help, I began to watch less television. Then I did a fast for forty days – fast of television – after the super “event” in February. I think that was the catalyst to finally pull the plug. On March 21, the first full day of spring, I released what was old and began a new thing. I pulled the plug. The satellite operator wasn’t helpful in releasing this burden. They fought to keep me, but I held firmly.
In the end, I had a little anxiety over not having my constant companion. My love affair ended after fifty years. God has called me to another love affair. This one I want to become so constant that the thought of an intrusive television program will be offensive to me. My prayer is to keep my eyes focused on Jesus and no other. It’s only right to keep my mind on the honorable things and not the junk that is offered on television for entertainment purposes.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9 (NLT)