Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Volunteer (11/23/06)
TITLE: Crackling With Energy
By Doug Apple
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That’s what the little statistic box says in Time Magazine.
And below it is another stat: Americans are more overweight than ever.
Why are we watching more TV than ever? To me it’s obvious. I mean, at my house we can only get, like, 3 channels with our little rabbit ears, and we still don’t have time to watch all the great shows. I can’t imagine the pressure when you have hundreds of channels, and then TiVo to pick up the leftovers.
Why? Because we are a nation loaded with God-given talents and blessings. We are healthier and living longer, better food, purer water, and cutting-edge health care. We have all these advantages over our ancestors, and over most people in the world today, and yet for some crazy reason we are spending more time than ever in front of the TV.
Those of you who know me are saying, “Yes, Doug, but we know you. You have always preached against TV.”
Look. It’s not that I think watching TV is inherently a sin. It’s just that we can do so much better than that.
Jesus boiled our calling in life down to this: Love God and love people. When we do this God just literally pours blessings down on us. It happens when we serve others, when we invest our life into the lives of others, spending time with them, helping them, loving them. But if we are spending more time in front of the TV than ever, that means we are taking less time than ever to connect with the people around us.
When we park ourselves in front of the TV for hours on end, we are like an Indy race car sitting there idling. God has given us so much energy.
“Now wait a minute. I don’t have that energy you’re talking about. I just need to vegetate.”
Listen. You are crackling with energy. You just need to push down on the gas pedal and throw that thing into gear. You would not believe what you are capable of, if you’ll just give it some gas.
In the Bible God says, “How long will you lie there, you sluggard?”* I don’t know anyone who got up after watching a bunch of television and said, “Ah, that felt good. I’m so glad I spent a few hours in front of the TV.” Nobody says that. Instead there’s a little gnawing voice that says, “What have I been doing?”
You get up and you don’t feel rested and refreshed and energized. You feel lazier than ever. Laziness breeds more laziness.
Am I against relaxing? Of course not. We must have time to relax.
But it’s like food. There is healthy food, and there is junk food. And there is healthy relaxation and there is junk relaxation.
I’ll never forget a friend who told me that she can’t watch cop shows before bed, because they make her feel all nervous and rattled…the opposite of relaxed.
So yes, take time to rest and relax when you need it. But then get involved in something. Join a group at church. Volunteer at school. Listen, almost anything is going to be more productive and leave you feeling better than watching television.
I know some of you don’t feel like you have much to offer. You’re in poor health. You’re not a sparkling socialite. You feel inadequate. But let me ask you, has God blessed you with even one thing? Then turn off the TV and hit the gas on that one thing. Maybe you are just to encourage the people on the frontlines. Just get up and do it.
Is my voice getting shrill?
Ask my kids, I am an anti-waste person. The Bible says that God has lavished His love on us. We are the privileged children. And more is expected from the privileged. We must not waste what God has given us, and one of the biggest blessings we have is time. And being anti-waste, one thing I am asking from you today. Please don’t waste time in front of the TV.
* Proverbs 6:9
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