There are some things I know about myself. One is that I often struggle with self discipline. There are areas where I am disciplined and there are others where I am not. I want freedom--or what I think is the freedom to do what I want. But, often that isn't true freedom.
"Man's perennial efforts to take himself in hand, however he attempts it, lead to the greatest bondage in which man misses what he was meant to be. Man's true freedom does not consist of the unfettered power to direct his life, either in a political or in a Stoic sense. It lies in life with God, lived as it was originally intended by God for man. He only gains this as he denies himself. Paradoxically, the free man does not belong to himself. He belongs to him who has set him free." J. Blunck
Last year, I read the book Distracted by Maggie Jackson. I read about her ideas about the damage media is doing to our lives and minds. Our attention spans are decreasing as our multi- tasking increases. It is more and more difficult to find a sense of peace while the internet is constantly buzzing. And the artificial world of the world wide web is now seen as real. What was once artificial... is now considered real and true. I read the warnings in the book. I knew what the book was cautioning me about. I felt the caution and I heeded it--a little. I fasted for a short time from the internet and then went back to what I'd done before.
God let me go down that path again. I have felt this growing disconnect from my family. I have lost some of my desire to do things and my desire to "escape" and relax has grown some. I knew I was escaping to the computer, but I did it anyways. So, I am resolving to change this--because it is the best thing for me, and for my family. Now, this wasn't visible to anyone but me. I haven't constantly been on the computer. I actually don't text. I don't blog every day. But, what I realized was that I was losing, or rather using, a few minutes here and a few minutes there. Over the course of the day, those minutes add up.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So, I am resolving to do this:
Sundays will be a day of rest: A day of rest from the computer
During the week, I can get on in the morning and in the afternoon if the kids have room time. But, I cannot check Facebook and email other than those 2 times.
I do not want to lose something I have like the frog in hot water loses his life. The best way I can describe what I think media can do to us is like the frog who is placed in water. As the water is heated up little by little, the frog doesn't notice. It doesn't notice---until it is too late and the water is boiling and the frog is dead.
Every day we make choices. We make them moment by moment. I do not want to sound fatalistic, but I think that our choices matter--to us and to the ones we love. We can choose to check facebook and lose 3 minutes or we can choose to sit down and listen when our child wants to tell us the story she or he just made up. We can choose to search the internet for music to listen to or we can listen to what we have and not feed our desire to purchase something else.
Speaking of which, it's time for me to get off the computer, so I need to go. Let me know if you decide to join me in this journey...