And by love, I really mean am obsessed with.
I’m not talking about good television, either. I’ve never seen “The Wire.” I’ve only watched about three episodes of “Mad Men.” I still don’t know how “Breaking Bad” ends.
But if you want to know who fought with whom on the last season of “Teen Mom” or how “Judge Judy” is likely to react if you try to sue your ex-boyfriend for 11 months back rent, I’m your girl. I have the TV on while I’m cleaning, while I’m eating, when friends come over, even while I sleep.
And I know – this is too much.
I began to realize I was becoming a TV zombie, that all of the background noise was becoming a bit too foreground. I needed some quiet. So I gave up TV for Lent.
[bctt tweet=”I began to realize I was becoming a TV zombie…”]
Most people have fallen into one of two camps when I tell them this. There are many for whom this is no big deal. Their television use is minimal. It’s as if I’ve said, “I’ve given up eating bacon on a mountain pass while juggling coffee mugs and playing the violin.” For them, it’s just not a thing.
For others, though, the idea is crazy. “You’re giving up all TV?” they’ll ask. “Netflix, too? What about movies? YouTube videos?”
“All of it,” I say. “I’ve given up tuning out in front of a screen.”
Because the point of fasting – from TV or chocolate or soda or any of the other things we give up each year– is not simply to check “fasting” off of the spiritual to-do list.
[bctt tweet=”Fasting is being willing to go without in order to draw closer to God. “]
Fasting is being willing to go without in order to draw closer to God. We certainly don’t have to fast, but if we choose to, it can be a practice that opens our eyes to how the comforts of life can distract us from what’s important.
So now when I come home from work, instead of staring into endless marathons of “Modern Family” and “Law and Order,” I’m listening to the birds in the tree outside my window, to the dog snoring on the couch.
I’m listening to God, who I can finally hear more clearly now that Jimmy Fallon isn’t talking so loudly.
My life is a gift, God seems to be saying, and it’s far more beautiful than whatever might be on On Demand tonight.
Sarah Carson is associate editor of Gather.