I wonder if you are all feeling slightly anxious about what to do with yourself in a week or so’s time – after all the European Cup, Wimbledon and the Olympics will no longer be on our TV screens (unless you’ve bought the Greatest Highlights Compilation!), and even Love Island 2021 will not be far from ending when you come to read this! What will we do with ourselves now that these exciting events are finished?
TV has a lot to answer for. Religion was once famously labeled as being ‘the opium for the masses’, but in reality, I think TV can more fully take that accolade.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like TV, but it can so easily take over our lives in so many subtle ways. The big sporting events, soap operas, and reality TV programmes become ‘must see’ events – we don’t want to see other people or talk to other people when these things are on – we need to concentrate on what we are watching. Meanwhile the adverts and TV stars are subtly selling us an unrealistic vision of what we should look like, be like, and have, if we want to lead happy, healthy and successful lives.
Is this a problem? Well not necessarily, as long as we remember that we were created to live life and not simply to watch others living it. Life is not a spectator sport – it’s something each of us is called to engage in, and the best way of engaging fully in life is through having good relationships. So much modern technology – TV’s, mobile phones, social media, etc. – have both a positive and negative side to them. At their best they can help our relationships and especially when people are separated by distance or pandemic, but at their worst they can also harm our relationships by distracting us from actually being present to those who are with us. Living life is about fully inhabiting the moment because this moment is all we really have – the past has gone, and the future may not come!
Maybe now that The European Cup, Wimbledon, the Olympics and even Love Island 2021 are over, we can be less distracted from the relationships that will bring us real life and joy – we can start living our lives rather than watching other people live there’s.
Yours in Christ,