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FORCE FED TELEVISION
Darna Bedwell Gutter
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What is happening to America? For some time now we have had the 'luxury' of finding televisions in public places. At some point in time it might have been considered a luxury; perhaps when television had something of value to offer. But gone are the days of innocence and consequential screening when television had a conscience reflective of a moral society.
As far as I am concerned it has now become a pestering intrusion that makes me feel force-fed; Especially now that I've eliminated it from my home for several years now.
Prior to that I had basically limited my viewing to Christian television and personally selected movies. There are many who are finding that is its only value. I may bring it back one day when I'm too old to do anything else. But for now I'm finding that I don't especially miss it. And my lack of tolerance of it has become acutely sensitive.
There are few public places one can go without this monstrous tube glaring at them. Most of the fast food chains boast of several televisions that can be seen from all angles. I can't say what the finer restaurants are doing as I don't eat out much.
But television has become an idolatrous epidemic. Gone is the opportunity for quiet contemplation or communion with God in the general public. Of course God hears us in the loudest storm. But it is our thoughts that may be suffering from distraction to even initiate sweet communion with Him.
The enemy would do anything to distract us from clarity of thought and reflective communion with God throughout our day. Nothing would make him happier than that we go through life catering to every trend of distraction.
There was a time we could sit in a waiting room and read Reader's Digest and plant seeds for thought. Now we must endure the mediocrity of celebrity gossip and other spiritual pollutions.
Few places are left sacred from this idolatrous intrusion. Recently I accompanied a friend to the emergency room of a local hospital. Well of course there were televisions in the waiting rooms, need you ask? But what you may not know is they were also in the emergency examination rooms! You know behind the little curtains. There was no sound, but there was enough text to ensure that you knew what was going on.
Who cares that Rosie O'Donald and Donald Trump made up. And that Elton John is imposing tough love upon his long-time friend Billy Joel for whatever reason. Perhaps someone should impose tough love upon him.
I say be aware of this systematic force-feeding that thrives in beauty salons and a host of terminal waiting rooms; airports, train stations and of course bus terminals. To where can we escape this idol who feeds on our subconscious and plants subliminal seeds that sprout distraction long after you have been force-fed lethal doses of this mediocre madness.
As a nation, I can't help but feel we would enhance our mental health by taking measures to avoid as much of this force-feeding as possible. Preserve your thought life and sanity by escaping to the peace of solitude to counter-balance this overdose or you may find yourself anxious and over-loaded.
Where can we go to avoid the idol of force-fed television. Thank God for Libraries and parks. Avoiding this systematic distraction can save your sanity because television has very little to offer in the way of moral fiber these days. So beware that you don't overdose and end up in a hospital emergency room where a lethal dose may be awaiting you.
There are still contemplative walks, bicycle rides without music headphones. Allow your senses to engage in the sounds of the moment; birds, the laughter of children, the gushing of a water fountain. Turn the television off and tune into the amazing symphony of a rain storm. This one really balances my body rhythms naturally.
Make it a quest to rediscover the hidden riches and treasures of life that are systematically being drowned out by force-fed distractions and trendy gadgets. Endeavor to reconnect with life's natural joys and sedatives that induce peace and serenity where we can still hear the still small voice of God.
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