For those of us that sometimes feel pangs of guilt for watching a bit too much TV, this is the most wonderful time of the year. Finales of our favorite shows have been broadcast (leaving most of the central characters hanging – in some cases, literally) and we no longer feel obligated to report to the couch to watch the latest episodes, either live or via DVR.
Certainly the networks have conjured up programming to fill the void, but this year I’ve determined not to get caught up in the summer replacements. Instead I resolve to return to a former favorite pastime – reading books.
|This artwork by Salvador Dali presents|
an imaginative look at the passage of time.
These days, between TV, e-mail and the Internet, my book-reading time has been reduced to a fraction, much to my regret. Instead of the passive activity of staring at a TV monitor and having the writers and directors dictate what I should think, reading a book requires my conscious, intentional effort. It truly is interactive, and I’m eager to begin exploring what lies in the pages of the many worthy candidates that have been collecting on my bookshelves since last year.
I’m not one of those that believe TV is inherently evil – although an increasing number of shows would qualify for that description. But it does have a tendency to monopolize time that could be invested in better ways. My good friend Oswald Chambers (he died in 1917, but his classic devotional book, My Utmost For His Highest, still speaks to me every day) often says, “Good is the enemy of the best.”
So instead of whiling away hours this summer watching entertaining but pointless dramas, I plan to spend more time taking walks with my wife, horsing around with the grandkids, and gleaning from the insights of established, trusted writers who help me to distinguish the truly important from the merely urgent.
Ephesians 5:16 speaks of “redeeming (or making the best use) of the time, because the days are evil.” Time passes so quickly – you realize that more and more as you get older – and with it being in short supply, time is nothing to squander.
So I’m hoping to actively engage this summer in some real time redemption!