I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. I should block “Lifetime Movie Network” from my Dish receiver in December. I am such a sucker for all of those sappy Christmas movies they show all month long. I’ve already watched about four of them and almost every time I see a preview I want to set the DVR to tape another movie.
I can justify it a little bit by saying that it gives me something to watch while I’m exercising, and if I watch on the DVR I can fast forward through all the commercials so I’m not wasting quite as much time. My conscience (or is it the Holy Spirit?) has been convicting me about it lately, especially after I watched a certain movie the other day.
The description said it was going to have Hayden Panatierre in it, so I thought I’d check it out. Well, it turns out she was in this when she was about eight years old and she played the inner child of a depressed book editor. She hung around and urged the main character to have fun again and get back to the way she used to be when she had some convictions and really enjoyed life. It was a pretty cute movie and the ending was satisfying, but a couple of scenes stuck with me and have bothered me off and on ever since.
They kept showing the main character in her office. She complained to everyone about how busy and overworked she was, but once they showed her playing solitaire on her computer until someone walked in and she quickly shut it off. Another time she was shown doodling on a notepad until her assistant came in to ask about something. Her inner child called her on it and yelled something like “Why don’t you actually DO something for once instead of just talking about it!”
Ouch! This hit a little too close to home. I’ve found myself wanting to play “Spider Solitaire” on my computer way too often in recent days. It’s not a very difficult game, but there’s something soothing about moving the cards around and seeing them fly to the bottom of the screen. After I watched that silly movie, most of the enjoyment has been drained from “Spider Solitaire”. I keep seeing that little girl yelling at her grown up self and I feel my own inner child saying, “You know this is a waste of time. You have much more important things to do. You keep talking about how you can’t get anything done, but you’re choosing to spend your time watching TV, snacking, and playing games on the computer. Let’s stop all this nonsense and really get to work!”
Do you struggle with this temptation, too? Maybe for you it’s shopping, or sleeping, or talking on the phone, or excessive hours spent on your favorite hobby. Notice that these are all good things (even the Spider Solitaire, although that’s pushing it a bit). We need diversions to help us relax and take a break from our work, but when anything becomes something that we run to instead of working, we need to examine our hearts.
As a Christian, God needs to be the one I run to constantly as I make decisions and choices throughout my day. If my relationship with God is going well then I’ll listen to the Holy Spirit as He directs my day. I’ll obey as I sense God prompting me to work on different tasks or connect with certain people in my life.
Many times when I run to food or the computer I can trace it back to some kind of disconnect with God. Maybe I sense Him asking me to think about something or to connect with someone but I don’t really want to obey. I feel anxious and a little stressed so I run to the computer so I can do something without really having to think for a while. This gets me nowhere! After the TV show or game is over I still feel just as anxious and now I can add guilt to the mix because I realize I’ve wasted precious time on top of everything else.
I tried to limit my intake of Lifetime movies this Christmas season, but I’m glad that I happened to watch at least one this year. Every time I start to click on “Spider Solitaire” on my computer, I know I’m going to be reminded that I need to think about whether I’m taking a well-deserved break or if I’m trying to avoid the important things that need to be done.
I pray that you will allow the Holy Spirit to show you the time wasters in your life that you may be running to instead of doing what God has called you to do each day. Let’s get more done and feel good about the sense of accomplishment we’ll feel as we work diligently each day.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)
© Robyn Mulder 2012, therobynsnest.org