I decided to give up something for Lent this year. I haven't done that in ages, and I can't honestly remember actually giving something up in my Catholic childhood. What I do remember is having some form of boiled seafood every Friday since meat was out. It's Friday today and I wish I had a big old pile of boiled crawfish in front of me, but alas, it's PB&J for me today.
Anyway, Lent... The purpose is to make a sacrifice and devout that extra time or what have you to God. That's the simple version. So, I thought about it and the best thing I think I can "sacrifice" is non-work related television viewing. I watch a lot of prime time TV and the more I thought about it, the easier it was to give up.
Here's my weekly television schedule:
Mondays - Not much on for me, but I'd watch "How I Met Your Mother" with the family and suffer through "The Class." I say "suffer through" because while it's actually a pretty funny show (don't tell my wife I said that), it really bothers me that I'm supposed to laugh at people having affairs, making horrible life decisions, etc. I don't know why it does. I guess I just don't want to get into ANOTHER TV show because I probably could get into "The Class" if I let myself (again, don't tell my wife). No, I refuse to watch Heroes.
Tuesdays - Well, American Idols' back and it's right before one of the two favorite shows, "House." The latter is one of two shows we tape if we're going to miss. I don't like to miss it. It's a great show you should be watching.
Wednesday - It was Beauty and the Geek (Thank goodness Cecelia didn't win). Now that Season 3 is done, America's Next Top Model will be on. Its a show I don't need to watch, but the family likes it so I'll watch with them. Then, we'd switch to American Idol and then Lost. At this point, I'm over Lost. It was a can't miss show, but I'm over it.
Thursday - Earl, The Office, then Grey's Anatomy. I can miss Earl or the Office because while they are hysterical, they don't matter that much. Grey's Anatomy is the other show I can't miss. Fans of Grey's Anatomy can understand how much of a sacrifice I'm making for Lent. If you saw last week's cliffhanger, then you know. I haven't watched last night's end to a three episode arc and I didn't have it taped, so if I see it, it'll be in reruns.
Friday - As much as this pains me, I'll just have to miss WWE Friday Night Smackdown.
That's a healthy 9 hours a week of TV watching. I didn't even include weekend TV, which isn't much now that football is over, nor did I include early access or late fringe syndication. I am going to really miss nightly South Park reruns. All in all, I probably watch at least 12 hours of TV a week. That's a lot of time I can sacrifice and devout to God. It is, after all, only TV.
And that's the attitude I'm waking up with this morning. Grey's Anatomy was the most watched TV show in Indianapolis last night and considering last week left Meredith Grey dead on the table, last night's episode was sure to be riveting. But, I don't really know because I didn't watch it. And I woke up this morning not really caring if she lived. I'm sure she did, the show's called "Grey's Anatomy" for a reason. But, my point is my time was better spent in the company of God doing good things.
In fact, last night I got a call from Pastor Dave asking if I had a few hours to help the new pastor move into his house. Last week, I would have made an excuse not to go. Heavy labor or Grey's Anatomy? Hmmmm... Easy choice. This week, I went with heavy labor and it was the better choice by far. I helped a person in need and likely started laying the foundation for a possible friendship.
So, while I might be missing out on the mystery of the island that never gets freaking solved, I am answering other questions about who I am transforming into and what kind of person I want to me.
The real question is what do once Lent is over. Do I go back to watching TV? Honestly, I don't know right now. I'd like to say that 3 days into Lent that don't think I will. But I also know that I am human and I know how easy it is to give into old enjoyable temptations. Not that watching TV is a sin. No, I just mean I could be doing something much better.