I recently read an article that said, “Television is fast becoming anti-life….it certainly is anti-relationship.”  That’s  something to think about.  TV is anti-relationship in several ways.  It does not foster communication.  It is easier to reach for the remote than to reach out and touch somebody.  TV doesn’t show us wholesome, satisfying relationships.  They are, after all, so hum-drum.

I am old enough to remember evenings at home before TV.  Whatever did we do with all that time?  We read books and shared them = with real people.  We discussed plans for the next day or next year.  We did puzzles together or played board games and sang around the piano.  We actually did things with our hands – we whittled, knitted, painted, made clothes and toys,  knickknacks and doo-dads.  There were gardens to tend, livestock to care for,  We cooked and canned and quilted TOGETHER, a far cry from ordering a pizza to eat in front of the TV, each person absorbed in watching whatever happened to be on.

Our kids got to know us pretty well.  They knew what we thought and what we valued.  They heard stories about our younger days and we heard about their daily exploits.  In a word, we were “available” in a way that a parent engrossed in a TV program is not.  And kids were present to their parents in a way that kids in their own rooms with their own TVs and smart phones are not.

There was time for reverie, a lovely word for the aimless free-flow of ideas.   Idly watching the flickering flames of the fireplace is much more restful than trying to make sense of rapidly changing images on a TV screen.  Reminiscing, something we cannot do when entranced by the boob-tube, helps to give us perspective.

We know in our hearts that we need time apart to reflect, reconsider, reorder our priorities.  People go to the mountains or the seashore, retreats and hermitages to get in touch with their inner selves  to sort the gold from the glitter and ponder eternal verities.  At this time of the year many religions advocate a time apart from the worldly hub-bub.

What are you doing this year with your Lent?