I write it as a reminder that we must continually guard ourselves against the weak points in our armor. John Piper said that it's less like recognizing a sin, repenting of that sin, being free from that sin and more like recognizing a sin, repenting of that sin, and struggling with that sin again for the rest of
your life. And while that may sound bleak at first, I think it's a vivid picture of the fact that we are continually being sanctified and are continually given the strength to give it back up to Jesus.
For weeks or perhaps months, I felt that I was continually feeling guilty about my Netflix binging. It seemed to be brought up in sermons, small groups, my own study. And I tried to reason; I can't just quit cold turkey! I'm in the middle of a show! If I stop now, I'll just waste valuable time thinking about the show. I should just finish the show and then I'll stop. But then I would finish a show, vow to not watch anything for about 14 hours and then lapse into another show. No matter how guilty I felt, my flesh won out.
A few days before November, I had a wake up call. I was about to enter into not only the last full month I had remaining in Canada but also the last full month before an important financial deadline (though that deadline has since been pushed back). I had been wiling away my time in an activity which I felt guilty at best about at most times.
Here are a few things I've learned in the days since.
1) When I'm not watching TV, I go to bed when my body actually feels tired.
I don't have to be governed by how many minutes are left in an episode! Beyond that, being in front of a screen actually affects how your body produces melatonin, the chemical needed to get you to sleep! If I got tired at 9:30, I went to sleep! It was awesome.2) Of course, I get a lot of reading done.
I read about eight books regarding art, life and work overseas, and theology. It's been a wonderful time of reading books that will prepare me for life in South Asia.3) Painting is awesome
I've been spending far more time painting this month than I had before.4) I'm spending way more time with roommates
I live in a house with four other girls, and it's such a fun environment. Most of the time, we are all in the living room or dining room, mostly working on our own tasks with the occasional distraction. When I don't have headphones in and my attention focused on another reality, I'm more present in the moment. And that means a lot more laughing and spontaneity.5) I am no longer so jealous over my time.
This really relates to the above point, but it's more than just my own house. For me, it's easy to get wrapped up in another life, even if that means a fictional story played out on my laptop screen. I feel so invested that it ends up sucking up a lot of my time. But when I'm free of that, I enjoy being able to give myself in other ways and feel more involved in real lives that are actually in front of me.May you be reminded and edified by this confession. It's been a reminder to me that I have to constantly be on guard against those pits in my life which I know I'm prone to fall into.
May the God of peace convict you of any weak points in your own armor. And may He give you the strength to not despair but to give it up to Him and glorify Him in your own weakness.