Post Corral Creek Falls, Central California
December 7, 2018
When I was young and bold, I frequently imagined my future as having a house full of happy kids–eight to be exact! There was just one little problem, I wasn’t married and I didn’t even have a girlfriend. But, besides those issues, I suspected that my main problem would be finding a girl to marry who also wanted a lot of kids. Through my 20’s I searched for her far and wide, but repeatedly came up empty. When I reached 29, I placed a desperate plea before God to help me find my future wife. I decided to write this request down on my first ever “prayer list”, and it happened to be dated August 29th, my parent’s wedding anniversary. Then I went to where I figured that my future wife might be lurking–a church that had a college and career class filled with over 300 young people. I also remember the date that I first met her–October 22nd, 1977, less than two months after I wrote my petition to God. I was astounded at how fast God answered my prayer after I became humble enough to ask. My own efforts lasted over 10 years with zilch results, while he took less than two months and hit pay dirt! She was cute, friendly and nice and, long story short, we married the following year. And, by the way, she also wanted a lot of kids.
After the first two kids were born, we settled in and things were going pretty well, except for a gnawing anxiety concerning the TV. It seemed to be on all of our waking hours, even if nobody was watching. The first thing our oldest, a 5 year old boy, would do when he woke up, was turn the TV on and plop himself down in front of it. Unbeknownst to each other, my wife and I were both thinking privately that we needed to get rid of the TV, or it would addict and mess up our kids and future kids. The Lord had told me earlier, without using words, that if we wanted to raise a lot of good Christian kids, then the “boob tube” would have to go. The first off-color TV show that I remember going beyond what I thought was acceptable for kids to watch was Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, which ran from 1967-1973. Other worse shows followed, and here we were in 1984 fearing exposing our kids to too much junk. When my wife approached me and broached the topic of maybe getting rid of the TV, I was elated. We talked and then agreed to this, and into the closet it went. In the next month or so it came out of the closet twice, so I decided to make it harder to bring it back, and deep into the garage rafters it went, never to return.
Our intuition turned out to be prophetic, as the coming flood of inventions, designed to deeply penetrate families, lives, and souls came into the world fast and furiously. These included cassette tapes, cable TV, digital disks, home computers, the internet, satellite TV, cell phones, smart phones, laptop computers, and various other gadgets which give you practically anything and everything you might want day and night, and are virtually worldwide. This invasion of change came so often and so fast, that it has denied society the time that it needed to create an effective reaction, response, and adjustment to one gadget before the next one came on the scene. This has created a chaotic disruption, dismantling, and erosion of our societal norms, morals, family lives, religious beliefs and order in social structures. Here we are now in 2018, 34 years later, and the flood continues unabated.
I want to quote here what I posted in an earlier article to help clarify the choices that we are all facing: “Have no love for the world, nor things that the world affords. If anyone loves the world, the Father’s love has no place in him, for nothing that the world affords comes from the Father. Carnal allurements, enticements for the eye, the life of empty show–all these are from the world.” 1 John 2, 15-16 It seems that 2000 years ago, people were plagued with the same kinds of problems that we are facing today. All humans seem to be flawed in similar ways, no matter what era they find themselves living in.
When the quote above speaks of “the world”, it is not speaking of the pure world that God created, but rather a world within the world that man has carved out for himself and presides over as king. It is a world where he serves himself and feeds on all of the pleasure, entertainment, praise, fame, self- righteousness, flattery, goods, homes, cars, vacations, rich food, fortune, power, control of others, and self-love that he can acquire or milk from other humans. He lives for what the world can give and he wants it now. He lives for the temporary and disdains the control of or obedience to anyone else, especially God his Maker. This very kind of world has been made infinitely easier to create for ourselves by the introduction of all the electronics and gadgets that I mentioned as having flooded the world after we got rid of the TV in 1984. I don’t think that it was a coincidence that George Orwell’s “1984” was set in the exact same year that we jettisoned the TV. His theme was control of the population by “Big Brother”, which was a totalitarian government which watched everything and kept everyone under control. Our own electronic media world is similar to the world 1984 describes, except today we have engineered the slavery of ourselves, although we are mostly blind to the fact.
As I have watched the slow destruction of America starting about 1965, with the introduction of drugs, “free love”, rebellion against authority, self indulgence as a way of life, ridding of ourselves of the concept of sin, and belittling obedience to God, to today’s moral wasteland, it makes me want to throw up my hands in frustration at the sheer magnitude of it all and give up. It’s like facing a slow motion tsunami combined with a never ending earthquake. What can one do to stop it? It seems impossible, but with God’s help it is possible.
What we need to do is use what I call the pebble thrown into the pond technique, where the concentric circular waves generated are disbursed far and wide. You be that pebble. Instead of looking at the enormous forces facing us and thinking, “Somebody needs to do something about it!”, like little children looking to their parents for help, we need to suck it up, give up our adolescent ways and do it ourselves–we are the parents and we are the adults. You start with influencing the person that you have the most control over–yourself! You use self discipline.
Do you love the tainted and self-centered world that man has fashioned from God’s pure creation? Do you find yourself captivated by off color and perverted humor? Do you enjoy TV shows which feature dysfunctional relationships, sordid adolescent humor, making light of serious sin, mocking God and holiness, and making fun of living morally? Do you indulge yourself in spending an inordinate amount of time playing useless video games? Do you go to chat rooms or other interactive places on the internet and enjoy observing people attacking each other back and forth using witty comebacks and bashing each other, often laced with profanity? Are you involved in or addicted to pornography? Do you spend a lot of time on Facebook trying to impress others, or coaxing “likes” from others to bolster your self esteem? Do you waste time every day sampling U-tube videos out of curiosity, boredom, or looking for excitement? Are you addicted to conspiracy theories and fill your self and time with mostly untrue nonsense? Do you watch junk movies regularly because you have nothing better to do? Do you use various social media constantly instead of using your time to cultivate real face-to-face relationships? Do you find yourself addicted to your phone, so that you have to always have it with you and let it disrupt relationships with people in your life? Do you notice that you have hours to serf the internet, but can’t seem to find the time to spend just 20 minutes a day in prayer to God? Do you watch sports so much that games and contests affect your schedule and stunt relationships with your spouse, kids, family, and friends? Are you so dependent on news shows that you need to check in on them all day long? Or anything and everything else that has you enslaved in one way or another? It just goes on and on.
You need to be a role model for all those watching you by eliminating all your off color and tainted activities, and by getting rid of most time wasting activities on all electronic media. In other words, you need to begin to fashion a new life with real people, wholesome activities, outdoor adventures, being cheerful to all that you meet daily, getting rid of self-indulgence, being involved in serving others, and living for God and good. Are you up to the challenge? If you demonstrate how it is done, others will follow. This is the best way you can begin to blunt the destructive effects of the electronic tsunami. Start fresh, start wholesome, start a truly productive life, and who knows, maybe start a trend! The best time to start is TODAY.