14 Sep Media Blackout: A Bummer and a Blessing
Michael R. Brown, senior pastor, Franklin UB church (New Albany, Ohio)
Two weeks ago in a sermon entitled “The Path to Spiritual Maturity,” I challenged my congregation to practice a personal media blackout September 9-15. The purpose? To stop “pouring so much of the world” into our heads and have more time to converse with God. I didn’t issue the challenge September 2-8 (the Sunday I preached), because the Democratic National Convention was on. Maybe we should have blacked-out both weeks of the conventions!
I committed to the blackout September 9-15, and it’s almost killin’ me! Here’s why.
I am a news junkie. Every morning starts with a quick Columbus Dispatch review (maybe 5 minutes). On the way to the office I often listen to a pastor, James MacDonald (5-10 minutes). During the day in the car, I listen to 700 WLW. My wife will never understand why I live in Columbus but listen to a Cincinnati radio station. I got hooked in 1975 listening to the Reds. It’s so bad I didn’t even listen to the Christian radio station I used to have a talk show on!
I subscribe to the following magazines; Fortune, Money, The Saturday Evening Post, Readers Digest, The Smithsonian (all of them were $10, one-year subscription deals). I also subscribe to Travel and Leisure because I’m too lazy to cancel it.
On the way home each day I listen to WLW, 610 WTVN, or 97.1 FM The Fan (sports). I only have two regular TV shows I watch. But I never miss at least one newscast, and will catch rerun shows while I do 10 pm dishes. The weekends is sports, and through the week I’ll catch both Fox and CNN news (conservative and liberals). The blackout also includes internet news. There you have it, my addiction.
It is Wednesday of blackout week, and I’m in serious withdrawal. The Reds could clinch the division this week and I can’t watch the Buckeyes: BUMMER!
But really…what a blessing! I am praying a lot more, driving a little more focused, and my head, heart, and soul just feel cleaner–less contaminated.
Try the blackout. You will be amazed at how much you hear–especially from God.