We would never preach about the evils of television. It is just a box with wires coming out of it. There is a wide variety of programming to choose from, if you pay for the BIG packages from your service provider. If you are the kind of person who can choose wisely and discriminately, you can be trusted to own one of these things. But hubby and I had moved well beyond that stage. He worked evenings and is a night owl. I worked days and came home from work exhausted. Dr. Phil and I would enjoy dinner about 5:00pm. I might have a quick visit with Dr.Oz, but he freaks me out a little. A quick glance at the news seemed depressing, so I'd flip channels. At first we had the movie channels. Lots to choose from there to fill time until some of my most watched shows started on the networks at 8:00pm. Being a teacher, I'd do some marking, keeping company with the guys from Mythbusters and Wings Over Canada. Never got into the home and garden shows much, but I did enjoy Extreme Makeover. I could be counted on to cry on cue when they moved that bus at the end of every episode. The HD channel, Oasis was enjoyable for the sheer beauty of the subject matter.
Once in awhile, I'd puff and sigh, haul rear out of chair and do a chore, but the TV was always on in the background. I spent most of my evenings alone, so it was "company." I'd plug my ears and hum if I started to hear that familiar, persistent voice suggesting that enough was enough and I should hit the power button. It was just too easy to sit like a blob and escape reality watching the "reality shows." At about 10:30pm, I'd relinquish the remote and my husband's shift would take over.
In early spring, I had a dream. I was on my way to my friend Anna's house in my blue truck. It was along a winding, narrow road with lakes of ice on each side. I was having great difficulty seeing the road ahead of me, because a 52" flatscreen Samsung was mounted to the hood of my truck in front of the windshield! I woke up shaking and convicted. I don't have a friend named Anna, but I know Anna means "favour and grace." And I couldn't get to it, because that television was in the way!
Unbeknownst to me, my husband was hearing the same thing. He told me one night, that he had come to a decision. He felt we needed to cut off the satellite service. He was expecting a load of whining and arguing, but I shared my dream. We laughed and decided to get on with it. I called Bell and said, "Do it!" Little did we know that they don't flip the switch for thirty days, in hopes you'll change your mind!
In that month, something else started to happen with greater and greater frequency. The TV ignition switch (or whatever it is) wouldn't work anymore. When we would try to turn it on, it didn't always work. Sometimes it would come right on and sometimes it would cut out after a few minutes. Hmmm. It gave one pause when trying to decide to watch or not. Hmmm again. This was a flatscreen with only one year's mileage on it.
This helped me to wean myself off. I'd pick a little more carefully. But when that box worked, it still felt like "company." Human voices. In a weak moment, I confessed to my husband that I didn't want to cut it off, because I'd be "alone" all the time. And it hit me. I WAS physically alone anyway. Duh.
So, on May 12th, a black screen was all that was left. The deed was done. And we didn't die. Something amazing started. We looked at each other more often. We talked more. And joy of joys, I rediscovered reading for the sheer pleasure of it. We still rent movies from time to time. And we have discovered that a few shows we like to watch can be viewed (albeit with much frustration) on the internet. It was a good choice, a great choice. Life together and with the Lord is markedly fuller!