Why I quit watching TV by Evans Toroitich

There are some things that one can’t imagine how life would be without them. I recall of a time when these were virtues; integrity, industry, truth, love, fidelity and so on and so forth. Then gadgets and gimmicks came along and crept into this precious list. Unbearable, a word that was used to describe a marriage in the rocks, now describes time spent in the country side; away from the internet, TV and the likes that are associated with the “good life”. It is not an unusual sight to see couples (even on their first date) fidgeting away on their mobile phones, each lost in their own little worlds. It is usually our family tradition to spend the Christmas season over at the farm and the recently ended festive season was no exception. The menu consisted of good food, pleasant conversations, enchanting music (tweeting birds) and God’s presence abounding. To say that I miss those few days is an understatement. I burn to re-live them!

Surely that is how life is to be spent all year round-not just on special occasions. Do we need an occasion to have a hearty laugh with our loved ones? Most definitely not! Do we need to mark our calendars that on such and such a day, I will tickle the ribs of a loved one? Most definitely not! Do we need an occasion to share an out-of-the-usual warm meal with a loved one? Most definitely not! Oh! Those days will linger in my memory for some good time to come. However, one thing sure fueled this most cherished period. We had no TV, we had no computer and we had no radio. We had each other. It was then that it dawned on me how much these gadgets have taken over our dear lives. Think about it. How are our living rooms arranged? Who, or rather what, takes the center stage? The faces of our loved ones or some bunch of foolhardy people in an electronic box (read TV) out for attention, fame and a quick buck? How about the dining table? Forgive me but if my memory serves me right, there was a time when eating away from the table was a most grievous sin. Now we put food on the plate and run back to worship our small gods in our living rooms and bedrooms. Where are the times when “ DTTs” (Dining Table Talks) were a time to catch up, impart life-giving knowledge and hear the good ol’ stories of our loved parents in their hey days? Ah! My heart sobs! We have lost something. 

I look at the social skills of the older folk compared to my generation, and it occurs to me that we have most definitely lost something. We can regain it but first, we have to know what we have lost. And if by reading these few sentences you haven’t realized what it is we have lost, then you are a clear statistic we need help. Help from above to open the eyes of our hearts that we may truly see....................
I have another reason why I have quit watching TV-a more personal one but not private. Several times Jesus exhorts us to watch our steps with the Almighty cautiously. He reminds us that the eyes are the light of the body. If our eyes are good, then our whole body is full of light. If our eyes are bad, our whole body is full of darkness. Simple logic yet there is nothing simple in its application. He goes on further saying that if the right eye causes us to sin, we should gouge it out and throw it away, for it is better to lose one part of the body and go to heaven than save the whole body and be thrown in hell. Okay, after the utterance of such from one with the highest authority, any sane person would halt in their tracks and ponder for a while. If I was to take this literally, I would have been totally blind right after birth! However, the “SSS” rule saves our skin from such imbecility. Scripture Supports Scripture, hence Paul exhorts us to throw off everything that hinders and the sin that easily entangles so that we can run well the race marked out for us. There is the major reason for my quitting watching TV. I am a Christian i.e. a follower of Christ (hence the name Christian). That comes before all else; my family, my career, my public outlook, my second name and most of all, my self- my old self to be precise. If anything makes me less of a Christian, it’s not worth keeping. And TV is not worth keeping. I have fought with this for quite some time. How am I going to relate with family and friends? How will I respond to the kind gesture of a host who wants to watch TV and asks for my company? I do realize this will ruffle some feathers. I also realize that I might be alienating myself from others. This is not pleasant at all. Then again, the Christian walk has never been pleasant. It may be full of mirth but this is not wrought from without but rather from within. How will my family (parents and siblings) feel when I sit alone on the dining table, munching away? Well, as cold as this may sound, I am not responsible for how they will respond. However, I am responsible for my Christian walk. I will not be crippled by TV. And boy, there is nothing more crippling than lust birthed by watching TV. It is a starving leech that sucks the joy out of the Christian experience. One day I will appear before my Lord and give an account of how I lived. Be far from it that He should find me unworthy of His presence because I preferred TV to Him in this life. He paid a dear price to redeem me. I should not take that lightly.

Secondly, there are too many trivialities on TV. Look at all the series that make murder look like a walk in the park. There was a time when tragedy was just that-tragedy. It would birth compassion for the bereaved but now, thanks to TV, tragedy amuses us. We sit long hours in front of this god and derive pleasure from criminal investigations regardless of how our hearts are becoming increasingly cold. Forgive me but I do recall the words of the wisest that our hearts should be guarded jealously for from them flow the issues of life. Then again, maybe I am growing old-not flowing with the times. Well, if it means losing my heart in the process, Count me out!

This is how things are going to be. I will eat my food in the dining room. Whoever needs my company, they know where to find me. I will not share my love for them with TV. I will enforce this in my home. The dining room is a sanctuary where we relax, let down our defenses and be our very true selves. It is the one place where a rebuke can be given without the stroke of the cane. Someone give me a reason for exchanging this divine providence with gadgets and gimmicks? This is one privilege I will not allow to be taken away from my family (wife and children). I pray for a like-minded wife otherwise we would be having world war three at every meal. I will put my Lord before me at all times and should He impress upon my heart to quit another thing, then by His good grace I will. I sure will.

NB: I wrote the above article when self control was not a friend. Hence, it was important to take such a drastic action until I learnt how to use TV for good. Now that I have, I now watch TV but only what edifies and draws another to Christ and not from. God bless you all.