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A grace note

Catching up

If "the length of [my] days is 70 years … " (Psalm 90:10, NIV), I have some serious catching up to do in the next 10 years if I want to be just average. Statistics show that "by the time we are 70 years old, if we are average TV viewers, we will have spent 10 years of our lives watching television."1

Knocking off several months of accumulated viewing of sports and news, I know what I have to do for the next 10 years: sit in front of my television set nonstop.

Television came to my hometown in northern Michigan when I was a teen-ager in the 1950s and quickly made inroads into lives. For example, my grandmother — an immigrant who never learned English — walked across the street to our home every weekday to watch a soap opera. But for whatever reasons, viewing TV — and videos and movies — never captivated me. (If I’ve missed something, don’t tell me now.)

Speaking of catching up, things on my to-do list, like yours, never seem to get done. If I had extra time, projects at home are staring at me. Add to that the books and magazines waiting for me to read. And there’s Kingdom involvement — finding time to study to teach my Sunday school class, to visit shut-ins, to attend church services, in addition to working 40 hours a week.

Recently at the mission for the homeless, I contrasted the many wasted lives around me with my abundant life, as Jesus promised (John 10:10). I made a mental list of all that I have been privileged to do: live in five states, travel stateside and overseas, work in children’s homes, enjoy sports, teach, interview some of God’s choice servants, to name a few.

British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-90), after working more than 50 years in journalism and television media, said, "As I see it, the media have created, and belong to, a world of fantasy, the more dangerous because it purports to be and is largely taken as being the real world. … Thus the effect of the media at all levels is to draw people away from reality, which means away from Christ."2

Caught up — those words are familiar. Paul wrote, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:17). That’s the catching up that has my attention.

1 Center for Media Education website: "Children and Television: Frequently Asked Questions," 1997.

2 Malcolm Muggeridge, Christ and the Media (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1977).

— Ann Floyd is associate editor of the Pentecostal Evangel.


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