SUMMER IS HERE!
You get to sleep in, you get to watch movies from this decade, you go on vacation (and don’t have to pack homework). It’s great!
Summer is several weeks of glorious free time. Time to relax. Time to have fun. Time to have sleepovers on “school nights.”
But if you’re like me, when we get free time like this, we tend to be super lazy. I mean, we’ve earned it, right? But this effect is what I call the Summer Shutdown.
THE SUMMER SHUTDOWN EFFECT
I’ve been on Daddy Duty for the last 3 years. And there have been a few moments when I’ve found myself at home alone for an afternoon (or even a weekend)! And you know what I did? Rented movies. And watched them. Back to back to back to back. Or I get caught up on shows that I’m subscribed to on Hulu. It’s a media binge. I’m free from responsibility, so I’m on the couch veggin’ out. And the next thing I know, my free time is gone.
This is the “summer shut down” effect. You don’t have to write papers anymore, so why read anything? You don’t have to wake up early for school, so why not stay up all night playing Black Ops? The only scheduled meal time is dinner, so why not snack on candy all day?
But the Bible doesn’t seem to honor this kind of attitude. Like, Jesus isn’t saying, “You spent 9 hours on facebook today! That’s what’s up! That’s how I hoped you’d spend your time.” Here’s what it says:
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Isaiah 55:2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.
Jesus has called us to a FULL life. That means a meaningful life; a memorable life; a life with purpose; a life that leaves an impact. So friends, my challenge for you is to not let the Summer Shutdown take over; instead, this summer shut down some of these media outlets that rob you of your time and influence.
HOW THEY ROB US
- Time Spent Texting – Students between 11 and 14 years old spend over an hour A DAY
- Time Spent with Each Medium – Considering multitasking, 7.5 hours a day connected to media
- Angry Birds – The developer estimates 200 million minutes a day are spent playing Angry Birds. He says: “It’s not time wasted. It’s utilizing ‘micro-spare’ time.”
- Time Spent on Computer – Tripled in 10 years (in 1999, facebook didn’t exist) from 27 minutes a day to almost an hour and a half a day. The average person views over 2,600 web pages a month
- Facebook – Each week 2.5 billion photos are uploaded. The average user spends 55 minutes a day on facebook
- YouTube – 1 to 2 billion videos viewed each day. 20 hours of video uploaded every minute.
- Social Gamers – in 2009 they spent $2.2 billion in virtual goods (like digital clothing for avatars, Farmville Purple Cow, energy packs in 1st person shooter games) and it’s predicted to increase to $6 billion by 2013.
- World of Warcraft – 84 percent of “World of Warcraft” players are male, and 16 percent are female. The average player’s age is 28, and female players tend to be a few years older than male players. Regardless of their gender, players spend an average of 21 to 22 hours a week playing the game
The Summer Shutdown makes us run from responsibility. And anytime it’s presented to us, we act like we just got drugged with crazy pills. We always have a reason why we can’t do something responsible, even if that reason is “SportsCenter is on again.”
So my challenge is to shut down some of these things this summer. I’m not saying don’t text – don’t watch movies – don’t get on facebook. Summer is like the only time you get to! But set goals for your faith, accomplish those goals first, THEN go do other things.
Set goals for your spirit. Train your spirit. Feed your spirit. Grow in your faith. Make that a priority…then do other things.
My prayer for you is what Paul told Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:7: train yourself to be godly.
For me, I have a goal to read the Bible in a year. That means I’m reading several chapters a day. But I also have games on my iPad that I like to play and TV shows that I like to watch. Do I totally unplug? Or just shut some of it down? My goals are my priority, so I’ll read, then I’ll relax. I’ll pray, then I’ll play.