We were talking in our adult Sunday School class this past Sunday about the changes God calls us to make in our lives. One couple -- parents of three girls under the age of 10 -- mentioned that they have pretty much quit watching television.
Even sports? we asked.
Even sports, they said, adding that what they've gained is greater than what they've given up.
What have you gained? someone asked.
Without hesitation they answered: family time. A sense of peace and contentment. A measure of control over what their girls were taking into their minds and souls.
That's the key to being willing to change, I think -- recognizing that what we gain is greater than what we give up when we act in response to something God asks of us.
It's hard to think of doing something like giving up television. Most of us can think up all kinds of reasons why it would be too hard, why it really isn't all that bad (I really only watch public television . . . ) -- but it isn't called the plug-in drug for nothing!
Over this summer we've watched less and less television, and we're surprised at how little we actually miss it. We are looking forward to watching Olympic coverage, more for glimpses of China than for most of the sports events themselves, but once the Olympics are over, I suspect we'll leave the television off more than on, because over this summer we've learned, too, that what we've gained in time to read, to talk, and to do other things we like to do is worth more than what we've given up.
News over the week-end about the death of Alexander Solzhenitsyn is a reminder of how much the world has changed.
His books illuminated the inhumanities of communism, and served as a reminder of the reality of sin, as well as the resilience of the human spirit. His courage as a man and as a writer inspired so many readers -- I began reading his work just after high school, and his experiences and stories shaped the way I saw the world.