What happens when you click that unsubscribe button to Netflix?
Binge watching. Oh the joys of mindless hours spent in front of a computer or TV screen watching Netflix. You know it has been too long when the haunting message of, “are you still watching?” pops up and you shamefully click, “yes”.
Hours spent in front of Netflix’s red logo hypnotically watching reruns of Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, and How I Met Your Mother. I am so incredibly guilty of this. My family is probably reading this laughing at the irony I am writing about. However, before I came to Ireland I decided to cancel my Netflix account. I deleted it. I know am $40 richer for the two months that I have not paid a subscription fee to. I didn’t want to be distracted by moving pictures. Through deleting that account, I also have discovered a new freedom.
I no longer have the need to binge watch shows. Yes, there are bouts of boredom and twinges of laziness longing to be filled with brainless banter that can only be fulfilled by my favorite sitcom but I discovered something else that Netflix did to my “rest” period. It made my times of rest, lazy!
I was curious what this thing called rest is really and so I did some Googling on what the definition of rest is and one of the definitions that stood out to me was; “peace of mind and spirit” and “free of anxieties”. Sometimes when I say, “I need rest” I really mean, “I want to brainlessly watch TV”. Oh what a crutch this has become. I find rest in watching TV…but I get up feeling more gross and worn out than I felt when I first sat down.
Instead of consuming my free times with moving pictures. I now have rediscovered some of the lost passions and hidden treasures of learning. I rediscovered the beauty and lost art of reading. In the two months I’ve been here, I have now finished 2 books and am half way done with another (and ordered 3 more books online waiting for me in California). This has allowed me to pursue knowledge in a whole new way. My rest time is actually fulfilling me in new ways and is actually productive. I spend more time writing, reading and studying.
I also have spent many hours watching sermons and TEDtalks. Not because I miss a moving screen, but I yearn to learn and grow. I catch up on missed sermons and series from my home churches (shout out from Ireland to Pastor Jim from Glenkirk and Pastor Kent from Bethany Bible). Growing in this way became restful. My heart became more tuned to what God was wanting to tell me during these times of rest. Hearing from people much wiser than me, encourages me. Learning from people who have gone before, urges me to tread in new directions. Days seem longer and hours are not wasted away. Instead they are invested in knowledge and rest.
I don’t know if I will ever open Netflix on my computer again. But for now it is a great freedom that I have discovered. I challenge you, for the rest of the summer; delete that Netflix account, go to the library, Barnes and Noble, or second hand bookstore and get something that will interest you. That will compel you. That will challenge you. Download playlists of speakers and pastors that you admire and listen and take notes. Learn and GROW!
Click that unsubscribe button and see what happens:)