The title is a sentence Louie Giglio, a pretty renowned bible teacher of today spoke during one of his sermons I watched on YouTube the other night. I exhausted Netflix of it's collection of anything bible or Jesus-related, including Johnny Cash's "Gospel Road" with a blonde Jesus (note: Jesus was born a Jew in the Middle East and likely had dark features) so I've since resorted to watching YouTube on my brother's fancy TV to unwind. After three years of living in LA he was fed-up with the neighbors' wifi speed (or lack thereof) interfering with his Call of Duty sessions so he broke down and signed-up for some sort of Internet connection of his own. I've always been a no-frills minimalist type; an "I'll just do without or figure out a way around it" type of girl, but- not gonna lie- certainly always grateful when someone makes their technological nuggets available for use- something I'd sometimes utterly refuse to do in my earlier years (see: didn't join Facebook 'til 2007, didn't get a smart phone til 2011, my laptop is, both, a loaner and so old I won't even tell you).
Now- forgive me for being presumptuous in putting words in your mind, but- Why don't I just watch TV to unwind? Because- okay try to follow me on this- If one recognizes the sound rationale of "you are what you eat" so decides that instead of eating fatty foods that make one sluggish one opts for clean foods that provide energy, and "where the mind goes the body will follow" so one starts reading self-help books and/or starts "thinking positive"- by simple reasoning, isn't it just as important to watch the things that go into your mind? Get it??- Watch... TV.. ahh..
What's on TV?
"The news", (not including morning shows). Disclaimer: I have never worked on the inside of a major news network and, as one who has spent much time on the observation deck of this media cruise we've all been sailing, I am only writing to be a "voice of reason" to you, my brethren and sister-ren, in hope of shining the Light on your lives. Because I love you. Fair enough? K, cool.
Sure, this is an easy one but infiltrating the waves at least five times a day, it's still a relevant example of common brain fodder we should be consuming with caution. Why?
What we're watching: Injustice, violence, loss, woes (economic & societal), governmental play-by-plays
What we're digesting: Insecurity, sadness, fear
When rehearsing comedic scenes my old acting coach always reminded us: "anger and fear are the fuel for comedy." And it's the truth. Next time you watch a sitcom pay attention to the characters' attitudes. You'll find someone's always angry or scared to some degree. Sometimes it's so subtle you'll watch it and be like "uh, no Holly, you're wrong" to which I'll be like, "Watch it again and this time pay attention to the scene setup." There are some smart sitcoms on TV today, but ultimately what we're feeding ourselves before bed is a stack of cotton candy mixed with cynicism. Sure, it's fun every once-in-a-while but as with any sweet treat, moderation is key.
What we're eating: anger, fear, sex, poor moral standards, irresponsibility, materialism, disrespect, foolishness, self-indulgence
What we're digesting: anger, fear, sex, materialism, insecurity, disrespect, foolishness
Other people's business aka gossip, adulterous affairs, lying, cheating, stealing, manipulation, betrayal, superficial concerns; on the daily. We eat it up- it's addictive. But beside an escape from our own drama at home, how is it really helping us to better our own situations?
What we're digesting: sex, insecurity/distrust, materialism, bitterness, depression, sadness, angst, fear, manipulation
Same as above, except the actors are often more recognizable and we only see them one night a week... unless we're primetime junkies. pshh... Don't act like you don't TiVo that ish.
Then of course we have movies, which pretty much embody all of the above. Horror films are bloody, evil and or twisted and are infamous for teen/young adult nudity (Am I the only person over 25 who thinks that's weird?). And unless it's a feel-good Olson Twins film circa 1993, Hallmark special, Christmas movie, bible story or anything with a dog, dolphin or horse as the heroic lead, we're not digesting much love, hope, compassion, wisdom, understanding or forgiveness. Oh, also anything where Jamie Foxx plays a man who lives on the streets and Cuba Gooding Jr. plays mentally handicapped- those are good too.
Are you getting the picture?
After sitting in traffic all day, dealing with "pre-occupied" people in stores and in the office, dreading rent and bills, you think your boyfriend is cheating, your husband keeps getting texts from random phone numbers, you haven't talked to your mom in months, your kid is sick again and your best friend is going through her own drama, your only well-deserved moment to unwind is spent digesting... junk food.
I am not poo-pooing the TV or film industry. TV and film are invaluable art mediums as well as positive messenger channels when used wisely, "wise" being keyword.
We're in the 21st century; the message is catching-on that being healthy isn't just about eating properly and exercising; it's about spiritual health, too. And the more we explore, the more we recognize that spirituality isn't a New-Agey thing that hippies seek. Whether we've recognized it or not, spirituality is a huge part of each and every one of us and God is making it increasingly more apparent that to be healthy and fulfill our greatest potential we need to keep our "message channels" clean and clear so that He can work through us. He's got amazing messages to feed us in the bible and with each other and I can promise that when you actively seek Jesus in movies, books, documentaries and TV shows you'll never be bored and what you'll digest will actually feed your soul, mind and body and help you to not only keep your head above water, but to actually thrive with Life.
He walked the earth as a loving, compassionate, graceful, forgiving, merciful, radical, self-disciplined, demon-slaying Hippie, which basically makes Him a way cooler friend to have than Superman. Because Superman a) couldn't be everywhere at once b) had to hide his true identity c) was not invincible (Kryptonite) and d) didn't die to save the world from spiritual injustice. There's a reason Jesus continually has more media coverage than any person who ever lived (including Elvis & Biebs).
Seek Jesus. He'll color your world.