I’m always amazed at how topics for the weekly blog form from the conversations and experiences I have throughout the week. Just yesterday morning, I was dropping my daughter off at school and she was exploring the possibilities of having more time watching television and playing on the IPAD. I have had Felicity on a screen “diet” for a few months now, because I found that an eight year old is unable to maintain balance without parameters. Let’s just be honest up front – regardless of age, we are all unable to maintain balance without parameters. I have seen this to be true in my own journey of prioritizing making healthier choices in my life. Guessing at what is a healthier choice and providing myself with multiple escape routes and excuses, so that I am not forced to demonstrate actual effort, has “surprisingly” not brought about the results I hoped for – I know, it shocked me, too 🙂 As with my daughter’s inability to know when enough is truly “enough”, I have had to lay down strict, yet reasonable parameters with what and how much I consume, as well as with my attention to consistent exercise. It’s not been easy, but it has been incredibly rewarding.
Portion control is something that reaches far beyond the quantity and long-term quality of what we eat each day.
As I dropped Felicity off, and drove to work, I began to think about how portion control is just as important with what I watch on television, the time I spend on social media, the Internet, relationships, and even my relationship with the Lord. The quantity and long-term quality of each WILL impact my overall physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I’ve seen this to be true when I consume a large quantity of one perspective of an issue. Not only am I further enraged by the fact that no one understands the situation as clearly as I do, but after I have stuffed myself full of endless opinions, I tend to approach meaningful, constructive conversations with skepticism, unless the other person(s) agree to all of my opinions. When I spend large quantities of time sightseeing online, I am missing out on the real world – the one that has not been beautifully coded and carefully scripted for my time-wasting, viewing pleasure – but that is hands-down more fulfilling. Of course, after an hour of Amazon, Facebook, and seeing if someone returned my email, I find myself disappointed that now I don’t have the time to clean the kitchen, or whatever. I had the time before I wasted it. Truth!
Most importantly for me and maybe you, I see that when I make the effort to consume as much time as possible in God’s Word and in worship – my day is very different. When I make Him the priority (Matthew 6:33), those other “things”, the truly important things (that often don’t include YouTube videos) find their proper place in my day. I told Felicity that just because a television and device are readily available doesn’t mean it is best for her to watch them all of the time. In this season of her life, I am imperfectly, yet lovingly and directly helping her choose “the better portion”. That line is not original. Jesus encouraged Martha (in Luke 10:42) to stop consuming large quantities of busyness (my interpretation), and enjoy spending time with her family and the Lord. Her sister, Mary, had an understanding of portion control that I prayerfully seek to have in all areas of my life.
What we indulge in, how much time we spend doing that, and what we are forfeiting in the long-term is definitely something to think about as you and I fill up our plate today.
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