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Vanier on Sabbath

February 19, 2008

“I often hear talk of people committed to social action or in communities who are ‘burned out.’ These people have been too generous; they have thrown themselves into activity which has finally destroyed them emotionally. They have not known how to relax and to be refreshed. Those in responsibility must teach such people the discipline of physical rest and relaxation, and the need for spiritual nourishment, and for fixing clear priorities. They must also set an example.” (Community and Growth, p.177)

Tracy said something the other day that just nailed me. At first i took offense to it then I realized it fell into the category of a friendly-wound like where Proverbs says “The wounds of a friend are better than the kisses of an enemy.” We have given up TV. I tried to go cold turkey and told her that was the only way it was going to happen for me. I’m addicted…. and embarrassed by all this for the record. Anyway, i needed the visual equivalent of Methadone to help me to kick so i bought a few episodes of LOST from iTunes and watched them before bed the other night. Now Tracy knows that i rarely watch something straight through. I usually fall asleep part way and she turns off the drug of choice and goes to bed ahead of me. In the mean time, (and there’s a reason its called ‘mean’ time) I usually half wake up as she is cleaning up and prepping for bed and stumble into the sack to claim more than my share of the covers. This last time i woke up we talked briefly about my addiction. “What time is it? Did i fall asleep?” (Duh!) “Yeah… you fell asleep again with your “pasey”? “What’s a pasey?” “It’s short for pacifier.. TV is your pacifier..” And there it was… She didn’t mean anything mean. She never does. But it hurt my feelings…it wounded me… precisely because it was the truth.

I need to relearn how to rest minus the pacifier.
+++ Lord, have mercy. +++

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. February 19, 2008 3:09 pm

    i guess you encountered “Madame Insight”…who knew her secret identity was tracy…maybe the dogs knew…

    “You’re blessed when you meet Lady Wisdom, when you make friends with Madame Insight. She’s worth far more than money in the bank; her friendship is better than a big salary. Her value exceeds all the trappings of wealth; nothing you could wish for holds a candle to her.”
    proverbs 3:13-15

  2. February 19, 2008 6:18 pm

    wow. yeah I think I have about 40 different paseies… food, internet, TV, movies, and I don’t think that cold turkey will help, but being gone for 1 week to the Abby in a few months, I am hoping will help me to se what life is like without most of them…. and then again. I think there might be some good paseies out there too, the bible, spending time with friends and or family. I wonder if they could be exchanged?

  3. chaundra permalink
    February 21, 2008 2:29 pm

    Man…I was reading your post thinking how good a pasey sounds right now. How bad off am I??

  4. Tim permalink
    February 21, 2008 6:46 pm

    From previous partial TV fasts at our place (3 months at one point – we did watch movies/DVD’s but disconnected all antenna’s, rabbit ears, and cable – which required an intentional choice to watch) I found that without TV I:
    1. Sleep more and am better rested
    2. Read more (the first month I read 1 book each week)
    3. Pray/follow spiritual discipline’s more
    4. Talk more/ communicate better with my spouse
    5. Had more sex

    So, I am a bit challenged having read of your decision and thinking about it, because there is a part of me that OF COURSE wants all of the above (which I have previously experienced), and yet…TV is a pretty nice pacifier…It requires nothing of me in terms of energy.

  5. February 22, 2008 4:08 pm

    “honey, you look so beautiful tonight… i love the way that blue background light makes your hair glimmer”

    … “can you lean over a little bit to the left… oh wait never mind, it’s a commercial”

  6. Laura permalink
    March 9, 2008 6:07 pm

    Hi Kevin,

    Can relate to both paragraphs here. Aaron confiscated the tv (took it upstairs) and Ken and I are joyous for the most part, except AARON is still watching it too much, and I miss zoning out on occasion. (And miss the kids!!)

  7. March 11, 2008 9:37 am

    Eddie Piorek always said ‘if you want to know how the husband is doing, ask his wife’…

    PS – I’d lose the TV in a second…
    But I would d still make time for movies (and the other four points Tim mentioned, of course)…

  8. March 11, 2008 9:38 am

    I meant 5 points (slip not intentional, no matter what the comment was about the blue background light…)

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