30 days: TV fast coming to a close…

If you read my post a month ago (30 days), then you know that for the last thirty days I’ve been fasting Television (or at least I had intended to).  I believed a though I had to be a “moment of insanity” on the way home from a family function a month ago.  Since I do intend to write a book regarding how to handle such moments, I though it best to actually attempt the fast and keep track of the results.  So, how did I do?

I did great for the first two weeks.  I fasted all television and I spend the time I got back on Zander, Stephanie, work, and prayer – not in that order (but probably close).  After the first two weeks, we had a baby.  We were in the hospital for a few days and I did watch DVD movies with Stephanie during that time but still no regular TV.  Stephanie’s mom came in town and with Stephanie on total bed rest for the week before and all the time since the baby, I must say that I broke down and watched TV during the fourth week.  Greatly reduced from what I would have watched a month ago, but certainly not a total fast.

So the question that remains to be answered despite my failure to last the entire 30 days – was that crazy thought a “Moment” thought?  Absolutely!  I could not have known at the time that Stephanie was going to be put on bed rest and that I would need to be available to take care of her and Zander.  I could not have known that I was going to be working from home for the last three weeks.  By not watching TV, I spent more time “at the wheel” and less time on auto-pilot.  Stephanie looked at me last week and said how much she appreciated that I was there for her – and I am convinced that had I been glued to the screen I would have had a much different outcome.

You might be thinking, well you would have responded to the needs of your family whether you were fasting TV or not.  Maybe you’re right.  I should hope you are, but by not watching television, I didn’t have it as an escape.  My family needed me to be there and a mini TV-induced escape would not have helped matters.

Interestingly enough, I started a two week trail of Netflix a week ago and today in the mail I received “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Silver Chair”.  LORD, I pray that You continue to send moments of clarity, that You grant me the ear to hear them, and the will to follow them.

Thirty Days

My first “Moments of Insanity” thought since I started writing the book – Saturday night (Aug 18th), on the way home from my brother’s house, riding in the car with Cher, Dad, Dianne, Zander, and Ava – I thought to myself – I should go a month without watching TV.  It just hit me.  We were not talking about TV in the car.  It didn’t flow with any of our conversations of the night.

But there it was – no TV for a month.  So I thought to myself, how do I determine a ‘moment of insanity’ from a wild crazy uninspired thought?  Maybe I’ll have to explore that as a chapter in the book.  Maybe I will also need a whole chapter on fasting – fasting food, TV, computer time, any kind of fasting.  For now, I am forced to deal with this current idea of fasting television.  Is it inspired?  I’ll let you know after a month of no television (today is day 2 of 30).

… an entire month without any kind of TV?!?! That’s just crazy!

Cut These Cords!

C.S. Lewis happens to be my favorite author, and The Silver Chair happens to be one of my all time favorite books. I don’t believe I will ever be as excellent a word smith as The great C.S. Lewis but I do hope to one day be a published author. I have had a strong sense of the book I would very much like to write for many years now, but never have I taken a moment to jot even one line down. My unwritten book, whose working title is “Moments of Insanity”, is based on a passage from my favorite book by my favorite author. I don’t know how many people will relate to the premise, which I’m sure would be essential for a successful book, but the whole idea strikes deep within me and I would very much like to finish the work if for no other person’s benefit than my own. I’ll pretend this is a two way conversation and that you’ve just asked “What is the premise?” Many of my friends might suggest that reading my blog is very much like a conversation with me – one in which you don’t often get a word in, but I digress. To answer your question:

In the book, The Silver Chair, there is a Knight who assists the Queen of an under world and is in all discernible matters a very well put together, very sane person. At night however he is strapped to an enchanted chair because, we are told that he has fits of rage and pure insanity. The enchanted chair is the only thing keeping him together. But during one of these nightly fits, the Knight shouts these words:

“Quick! I am sane now. Every night I am sane. If only I could get out of this enchanted chair, it would last. I should be a man again. But every night they bind me, and so every night my chance is gone. But you are not enemies. I am not your prisoner. Quick! Cut these cords.”

In this moment, we are faced with a choice. Do we believe this insane, enraged maniac? Or do we prefer the put-together version of the character. As a Christian, I have had moments in my life when everything suddenly seems more clear than before, when I know some action I must do, despite not always knowing to what end or what purpose that the thing must be done. These moments seem to occur most often during a church service or personal devotion; times when my focus is most on the creator.

I believe we are created beings, creatures made by a creator. I believe God created us with a purpose or purposes in mind and that at some point we as a species left that divine purpose to follow our own. For the most of us, we get along just fine in this condition; pursuing careers, mates, pleasures on both intellectual and physical levels. These are our daytime hours, our daily lives when things are almost on auto-pilot. I wake up, goto work, goto lunch, return to work, go home, spend time watching TV, eat dinner, spend time with the family, goto bed, wake up, and do it all over again. But there are moments that break the white-line-fever method in which we go about our lives. Its in those moments that I believe we become aware. I want to write a book about those moments. Or more precisely, how to ‘cut these cords’ that keep us from leaving the ‘chair’ and walking in that strangely clear frame of mind.