If you’ve noticed, I haven’t been writing for a while. The strangest thing about this is I’m not even remotely busy like the usual 8-5 hour jobs are. I have important business errands to run almost every week, but on most days, I’m free. Not having a regular job for a year now (yes, that long) has gotten me this free, this available. I haven’t left, you see. I’m still in Manila, three months later than our target departure. I should be in Palawan by now, but boy, when they said in the government it takes 10,000 years to process your business papers, they weren’t kidding! I wish I can leave now, in fact. Because the longer I stay, the more we incur expenses. That’s true for all start-up businesses, right? Labas ka ng labas ng pera, at wala namang pumapasok. My sister and I knew this right from the start. The birth pains of business.
So what got me writing today isn’t even to explain why, despite being free, I’ve been remiss on writing, particularly here. It’s a different story with my journal because I make it a general rule to write there, if not everyday, then at least every week. And honestly, I don’t really know why I stopped writing here. But I have a theory. Or something tells me, I do know the reason and I’m only articulating it now.
You see, the past few weeks, instead of pouring out my heart and my thoughts into writing, which is my primary outlet, and instead of focusing on the more important tasks at hand, I shut myself down from these activities and turned to the TV. I don’t want to explain to you what normally happens in a day for me, because they always vary, but lately, due to all these waiting, I went the other way and just became lazy, inactive, dull. I’m not one to get bored easily, being already accustomed to this lifestyle and managing to find many, many things to do and fill my schedule. But here I am bored and I channeled my boredom to a great evil, if I may. I confess that a huge part of my day is spent in front of the boob tube. There, I would turn to my favorite shows, sometimes even watch constant replays, go on marathons, and just click, click, click the remote.
I understand that TVs are not sins in themselves. They’re not evil. 1 Corinthians 10:23 says, and please hear me out first before you start telling me I’m using Scripture in my defense, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” In King James, it reads, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”
Watching TV isn’t unlawful, and is permitted, and can be good, depending on how you use it. But, as my example would show you already, I haven’t wisely utilized the TV and the time I have, and what happened was, all my energy and passions just went into it and all my responsibility flew out the window. I’d stay late at night, spend hours on marathons, and I’d forget that the next day I have important things to do. It’s a stupid cycle, one that I definitely CAN get out of. And I’m really convicted now. Instead of using my God-given free time to read the Word, to pray, to spend with Jesus, to focus on the business, I let myself, my weak flesh, be pulled into ‘this other world’ with so little restrictions. Like Facebook, it’s a great pull, and requires utmost discipline, and divine strength when it becomes all too strong.
So here I am writing today because I have determined that my enemy has been, more than the TV, my inability and unwillingness to say No to it. In short, it’s myself. The TV represents a quick escape for all of us. When we’re discontented with many things, when we’re tired of routine or just plain lazy, we turn to the nearest thing that will give us the cheapest available satisfaction. At a click we laugh, we cry, we get angry, we get informed or we become indifferent. And there are so many pressing issues I need to address before the Lord, so many responsibilities to fulfill, but instead, I became lazy and I just didn’t want to address any of it. I wanted to hide from the responsibility, run away from the tasks. My heart tells me this is some form of rebellion.
At BSF last Monday, we talked about the Fall of Man and the seduction of Eve. Our TL Tessa pointed out something really powerful that struck me. Even when Adam and Eve sinned, and even when they tried to hide from God, He looked for them. He asked, “where are you?” He isn’t one to let go of those He loves. And yes, He will not let sin go unaddressed.
The truth is, my turning to the TV takes on a much deeper meaning, because there are many unconfessed sins in my life that I’m just not bringing before the Lord, and I’ve manifested this attitude in my watching the TV and not caring about anything else (like confessing and admitting). What a great rebuke and a timely message from God. And what a great lesson on freedom. There’s responsibility with this much freedom. God doesn’t give it for no reason and like Eve, there are specific restrictions and boundaries that I have to follow in obedience to Him. What I do with what is given me will determine how I will grow spiritually, and in what state my devotion to the Lord is. It is very telling of our relationship, right? That’s the hard, painful truth. :(