I recently got a Netflix account. I know, it’s been around a while. But I have been trying to avoid it, as I have heard so many people talk about “binging” Netflix.
What did that even mean?
I quickly found out.
I’m a sucker for a good period piece, and the streaming services have no shortage of them. Some virtuous, many not. I found myself watching them for hours at night after the kids went to bed. One night, as I struggled to turn off the TV, I thought, “This is what they mean by binge watching.”
By definition, to binge includes “excessive indulgence.” Excessive indulgence of anything cannot be a good idea. But I thought that the evenings, after the chaos of putting the kids to bed, was my time and my choice, right?
Or is it?
I felt myself wanting to watch the next episode of a series like when you read a page-turner and stay up for hours. I found myself tempted to watch during the day, and frequently did. Then I thought, I could be doing so many better things with my time.
I rationalized. I work hard as a wife and mom and deserve a little “me time” or “down time.” I got hooked on shows only because my curiosity to see “what happens next” would nag at me during the day. I found myself watching TV while doing the dishes, folding the laundry, and even cooking.
In His loving and gentle way, God was calling me to more. To a better use of my time. Anything else is likely more virtuous. Mindless entertainment, which can be good at times, should be in moderation. And perhaps in much smaller amounts.In His loving and gentle way, God was calling me to more. To a better use of my time. #BISblog // Click To Tweet
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How to Break the Binge Habit
In reality, our time is not our own. It’s His. We are not our own, we are His. If you are stuck in a Netflix rut like I was, I suggest the following:
1. Pray about it.
Follow the nudging of the Holy Spirit to take a break or cut back.
Ask what He would have you do with your downtime that may be more life-giving to you and others.
2. Get real about your motivations.
Are you trying to escape from something? Is there something in need of healing that you don’t want to face? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal this you. Chances are you already know. Seek healing. Open His Word, it is living and active and will sanctify and heal you. Seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation if appropriate for your situation.
Ask God to show you how to fill your soul and be recharged without “escaping.” He created you beloved, He knows what you need. Ask Him.
3. Run to Him.
There is so much goodness our Father is waiting to give us, but we have to be ready to receive it. Are we using the gift of our time wisely? He has better things for you. Turn to Him.
At the end of the day, when you feel like you have nothing left to give, before you turn on the TV, pause. Find a comfortable place to sit. Pour your heart out to Him. Open His Word, and be patient. Prune away the inconsequential fillers of time like Netflix or scrolling your phone for the extraordinary.
He is waiting.
He will open doors of refreshment that we have not imagined. But we must first turn off the noise.
Have you broken a binge habit before? What worked for you?Breaking the Binge #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Amy Hobson is a Catholic convert who lives with her husband and three kids in the college town of Norman, Oklahoma. When she’s not taxi-ing everyone around, she loves being outside, strolling book stores, sipping lattes, and living life in community. Her husband calls her an ammeter theologian and her kids think she’s funny. When time and energy permit, she loves to write. Find out more about her here.