This week I asked my kids to remove a TV series from our Netflix queue. For me. A show I was watching. It was a good show to watch if I had the TV to myself with laundry to fold or bills to pay or toenails to cut. Good as in entertaining and funny and popular and addictive. I was only in season one with hours to go. I even let the laundry pile up the other day so I could fold and binge watch and not feel (as) guilty.
If I told you the name of the series you’d probably say, “Oh. That’s not so bad.” But that’s not the point. The point is that it was sucking me in and it wasn’t good, the people who had captivated me weren’t promoting good or producing good in me.
So. I had my kids click that formidable remove series button, not because I’m incapable of working the remote but because:
- I’m weak. I thought a lot about removing it but never got around to actually doing it. Hmm. Wonder why.
- Them removing it provides me with some measure of accountability. I mean, what would my tween/teen say if they caught me watching it after I made this big hairy deal of yelling from the kitchen, “Get that show off for me because I don’t know if I can”?
- It [hopefully] demonstrates that this is normal life. Saying no accompanied by action is normal. Following Christ sometimes means turning away from things not necessarily evil, but simply not good for us. It’s not like self-control is suddenly a cakewalk when you enter grownup land.
Those little time-wasters, thought derail-ers, contentment stealers, those seemingly little practices can end up as hardcore habits, but we don’t have to let them take over. We can practice (and I mean practice) control over them. When the Holy Spirit prompts us to decline an invitation from Netflix or Snapchat or whatever we are saying no to one thing and making room for another. We’re making room for the better. Maybe something tangible or maybe character development or maybe a smidgen more peace to our day. Who doesn’t need that?
With one click my show’s gone. I miss it. In all honesty, if it was still there in the lineup, I’d probably be watching it right now since no one’s on the TV at this moment. But instead I’m writing; I had room for writing. That’s what no is really about: making room for the good and better and best.