Over lunch my friend related an amazing story of how God was blessing a community somewhere in America. No nonsense, just incredible stories of salvation, healing and blessing. Why there and not here I asked. The only clue? They stopped watching TV.
Every Sunday I preach my heart out but I’m aware for many this is a single half hour sloshing around many other influencing voices. Especially that rectangular LCD display that sits in the corner of the room.
How many hours do we spend watching, listening, subconsciously downloading a whole set of values we would never normally sign up to? If someone literally behaved in that manner in our kitchen, would we really just let them carry on?
Hear me out. I am not suggesting for one minute that if we throw out our TVs, suddenly revival will come. It doesn’t work like that. God is not formula driven.
However, what if we could turn the volume down? Just a little. For a few days.
Instead of sitting at the feet of “Corrie”; what about studying or SOAPing Corinthians? How about dinner with the family or some friends rather than Modern Family or an old re-run episode of Friends?
While I’m on the subject, what about smartphones? Ouch! I just stabbed myself in my conscience!
At a leaders’ training event recently I walked into the dimly lit coach’s lounge. No-one lifted their head to respond because their faces reflected the glow of Twitter or Facebook. Ten years ago, that room would be a hubbub of chatter. A better world or just different?
What if we controlled the avalanche of useless information for a few days and found a quiet place just to listen, meditate, reflect? Try a TV fast; a screen fast; a Twitter/Facebook fast; a C.O.D. fast for one week.
In Daniel 1:12-13, Daniel turned to his supervisor and asked to be fed on water and vegetables for the period of training and asked to be assessed at the end of it. He was confident that this trial period would end with tangible, positive results.
Let’s turn the volume down on these influences in our lives and see what God says and does.
Call it a trial, or an experiment, but make your assessment at the end of it.
May this one decision have a massive impact on the future.
Yours, mine and ours.