Today's Lectionary Text
…the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
My TV has gone rogue.
In my living room, we have an electric fireplace along one wall. It has an unrealistic looking flame, but it puts out heat and it’s still nice to look at. It’s warm and it’s soothing.
On the opposite wall is a small TV, and here’s the thing. Every time we press power on the fireplace remote, the TV also turns on.
It’s as if all the streaming platforms, all the sports, news, and commercials, all collaborating to take my attention away from the gentle flames of the fireplace. The TV is begging for my attention.
And I don’t want to give in. I don’t want my gaze to divert from the gentle fire to see what’s happening out there in the world of media, but the darn thing is clamoring to be looked at.
Isn’t life just like that sometimes? You settle down, calm yourself, and give yourself a moment of peace and reflection, a moment to warm yourself in the soothing glow of contemplation, and the world just screams at you: Pay attention to me!
This is more than a case of mixed frequencies — it feels like a battle for my focus. You ever face your version of this? How often does your TV or the internet intrude on your quiet time? For many of us, it’s a problem, because people need to be able to unplug from the world from time to time, to pause and reflect, to refill the empty cup, to restore the soul. It can be a hard thing to do.
I’m happy to tell you that, at least yesterday evening, the fireplace won out. I grabbed the TV remote and powered it off, turning instead to bask in the warm glow of spirituality. And I was the better for it.
How can you take time this week to unplug from the world and open yourself up to the power of the Spirit? I find a fireplace or even a candle can help me focus, but there’s no end to the ways we can avail ourselves of God’s rejuvenating presence: A walk in nature, reading a devotion, even a meaningful conversation with a friend. TV? It has its place, but rare are the times when it really restores us.
The choice is ours. For me, looking at even the fake flames of my fireplace reminds me of the Holy Spirit at work in my soul. There’s plenty of time for TV, but time spent in the presence of God is precious.
The next time you’re faced with that dilemma, remember that you are what you watch. TV isn’t going away, but tuning in to God should get your highest ratings.
--Rev. Mitch Todd
Prayer for Reflection
Dear God, remind us of your warmth among the coldness we feel in the world. Amen.
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