Lori Wilkerson Stewart
THE SEDUCTION OF SCREENS
Updated: Oct 29, 2018
I didn't realize it at the time, but I had become addicted to entertainment.
If you’re anything like me, you come home from a productive day at work, eat dinner, and then plop down on the couch to unwind and be entertained. What will it be tonight? Something you recorded on the DVR? Proceeds to scroll through and finds nothing of interest… Let’s try Netflix. Scrolls through New Releases. Twenty minutes later gives up. Then remembers: all is not lost! We can still check Amazon Prime.... and Voila! There’s the new series you’ve been waiting to watch and you hit Play. Arrange the couch pillows, grab a snack, a drink and get ready to binge a few episodes (while holding your phone so you can occasionally check Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook). A few hours later, you’re off to bed—mind numb and sufficiently entertained.
Next day, repeat.
I’m not proud of this, but I’ve come to realize too much screen time is a sin for me. It’s like an idol. I sit before it and give it my worship of sorts. But God is not okay with this. He stepped in and saved me from getting caught in this endless loop of images, stories, and updates. And it started in January of this year.
In December of 2017, the Lord started stirring me to turn a journal of promises for my son into a book for other families who are praying for a prodigal. He showed me that it would be two books, one for guys and one for girls, and I was to leave blanks inside the scriptures and the declarations so people could write in the name of their prodigal. It was all very clear to me. However, I argued with God. “It’s a good idea Lord, but I don’t have time.”
He said, “Get off the screens.” I was busted! He wasn’t just calling me out for too much TV time. He was calling me out for the time I spent staring at my phone screen. I knew immediately that if I turned those things off, I would have time to write the books. So, in January of 2018, I started this new endeavor: fasting from screens.
It wasn’t easy—especially at first. I never realized how quiet my life would be without the TV on… everything seemed so still and slowed down. The pace and rhythm of my life changed dramatically.
For the next two months, I would come home from work, enjoy dinner with my family, and then head to the dining room table or to my bedroom to write. I’d put the worship music on, spend time with the Lord, and start typing. I experienced such intimacy with Jesus as I wrote, rewrote, etc. each page. I cried over individual sentences, scripture verses, declarations—we went to a deep place, and it was unforgettably beautiful.
I’m currently on another 21-day fast from screens (after work of course, hello- I’m a TV producer). I love the quiet. There is plenty of time to spend with the Lord, take long walks with my husband, have meaningful conversations with my children, go to the gym, read books, etc. I’ve been building a website and this blog, too.
Can you relate? Are you spending too much time in front of screens? We weren’t meant to live this way. Have you given in to the seduction of screens in a constant quest for entertainment? If the answer is yes, ask the Lord to forgive you for making it an idol in your life. Make him the object of your time and affection.
Finally, I want to challenge you today: what dream would you be able to accomplish if you turned off your TV, your computer, your video game, your phone, etc.? Why not give it a try?
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19;4 KJV