OK, kids, gather round and let me tell you a story about the days before video streaming … before DVRs … and even before the beloved VHS machine. (Yes, I paid $600 for my first VHS player, but it had all sorts of bells and whistles like … well, it recorded. That’s it.)
When I was a kid, if you had a certain show you wanted to watch, you found it in TV Guide and cleared your schedule. You planned your evening around it. If you missed the program because you were grounded, you had to either rely on your friends at school the next day or wait until the summer reruns. I faced two dilemmas as a kid in the 60s.
- I was a Baptist kid growing up. That means we went to Sunday night church—which means I never saw Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color. Sigh.
- And I hated two-part episodes. You’d get engrossed in the show and at the end, you see these words: TO BE CONTINUED. I’d roll my pre-adolescent eyes and moan, “I have to wait until next week!”
Those days are over.
Video streaming, and in particular Netflix, has changed the way we watch TV. While I applaud the freedom it has given me to watch what I want when I want, it has created a whole new addiction: binge watching.
Netflix even caters to this now with their own original programming. When they release a new season of one of their shows, they release the whole season at once. Folks park in front of their flat-screen TVs and don’t get up until they’ve watched the whole season! Netflix has a new term for this special breed of binge watchers: binge racers. A binge racer is anyone who will finish a series within 24 hours of its release.
Now that’s single-minded focus.
One of my sons is a binge racer, and I’ve learned I can’t make plans with him when his series is releasing. He doesn’t let anything pull him from his Netflix account for that day.
I’m not interested in any form of binge watching, but I would like to have that same type of single-minded focus when it comes to my walk with Christ. I don’t want anything to pull my attention away from Christ. I want to live with an intentional and conscious focus on the One who knows me best and loves me anyway.
Is that possible?
John the Baptist did it. His ministry was short, but it was focused. Very focused. He was the “warm up act” whose one task was to point to the Main Attraction. His focus was on exalting Christ, not himself. John himself said,
“He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30).
When I come to the end of this physical life, it won’t matter how many episodes of this year’s trending programs I’ve seen. It won’t matter how many books I’ve read … or games of golf I’ve played … or whatever screams for my focus and attention. What will matter is my walk with Jesus. What I do with Him and for Him is what matters—and lasts.
Let’s focus on Christ.
For a printable version: click here.
This post supports the study “John: Single-Minded Focus” in Bible Studies for Life.