Too Much Netflix and Chill?


((from Abbie))

“I’m sorry”, I whispered above, “I had no reason not to trust, and yet, I ran the other way.”


As I sat in my car, the flood gates of prayer and repentance came rushing in. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my husband and I have been in a period of limbo, and frankly I had been getting tired of waiting. The season lasted much longer than I had anticipated and I longed to do things my way (if only to speed it up!) My thoughts over the past month were anxious, scatterbrained, and distracted. I had trouble connecting with anyone, let alone the Father, and so I gave up (temporarily). Slowly reading scripture turned into binge watching Netflix, as I began to auto-pilot through the waiting.

To be honest, this post is technically supposed to be about learning (and re-learning) to trust fully, deeply, and without bounds. Again and again the Lord proves Himself faithful, even when we are faithless, and again and again I forget. Trust is a tricky thing to catch and hold on to, and I have come to the conclusion that it is more a decision than it is an abstract idea. A choice to obey even when the head and the heart say differently. And yet, the idea of trust often feels larger than life. How to break it down when it requires every fiber of our beings?

So, I will leave you with this…
A tiny piece of the puzzle that is trust. I realized that I ran the other way because I lacked focus. My mind was scared and so it longed to flee all reality. And in the spirit of full disclosure, it temporarily found its home in the arms of Netflix – an alternate reality that offered some respite to my world filled to the brim with waiting and unknowns.
But it started to take a toll on my ability to trust. As silly as that sounds, it’s true. The period of “zoning out” only left me more distracted and less likely to focus on the truth of the Scripture. I convinced myself that Netflixing while doing the dishes (or the laundry or the cleaning or the meal prep or all of the other daily activities that consume our time) was okay because I had nothing else to do while I was working.

But I was wrong. I could have prayed more. Listened to worship music more. Meditated on truth more. Allowed myself to rest in His presence more. The more I filled my mind up with senseless television, the less equipped I was to trust. Why? Because I wasn’t surrounding myself with truth. Although the shows I enjoy are not negative impacts on my thoughts, they are very neutral, and I am starting to understand that this is just as harmful. Without the constant focus on the Lord’s faithfulness, I slipped quietly into my own coping mechanisms, and forgot. I forgot how to listen, forgot how to surrender, and forgot how to trust.

By no means am I suggesting that television here-or-there always equates to poor decision making, but it is easy to start harmlessly filling our minds with junk food when what it really needs is fruit. Moderation can feel over-preached, and I have found that fasting, in this regard, is necessary. Forget moderation. If you are feeling your mind and heart slip away to another vice the solution is not to “try harder to moderate”; that’s a clear indication that it’s time for a fast (no matter how long). Recognizing and understanding your own soul care when it comes to alternate realities (watching TV, scrolling social media, even constantly reading novels) is an essential component when it comes to trust. The tiny baby steps are the one that keep us moving forward, and this is no different. There is grace to be had for the perseverant and peace to be had for the faithful. Cling to this, for this is the hope that is founded on truth.

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