Back when my dad was already very weakened by the colon cancer and the chemotherapy, we used to watch many television programs together. Not movies. But the interesting stuff like BBC’s Top Gear, and the History Channel, and Discovery, and my personal (macabre) favorite: Crime Investigation. Seeing crimes solved helped make life feel more under control while the cancer went completely out of control. We watched all the cricket and rugby matches together, and the Tour de France. I am not a big sports fan, but at my dad’s side I became super informed and enthusiastic.
When he passed away, I took over the cable TV subscription, because those memories of happy times in between the suffering were precious to me. But as the months passed, I found that I just couldn’t watch the old favorites anymore. Especially not sports. Most especially NOT the Tour de France. So I switched to lighter fare: sitcoms, movies, mysteries, etc. I could still watch Crime Investigation – its order still held intact.
But I knew: The monthly payments exacted a huge financial price for the sake of a bittersweet memory.
And there came a day indeed when I had to look this expense squarely in the eye. When I started examining my life, putting everything on the table, asking God if I used my money for the BEST instead of just the GOOD, that’s when I knew: the cable subscription had to go. All that money could go towards something far better than sitting on the couch (perhaps once or twice a week) to escape from the rat race. It could provide basic meals for a family for a whole month. It could build a mission fund. It could make a difference.
It could enrich lives! For God!
So last month I ended the subscription. It wasn’t easy because strangely, though I don’t spend much time in front of the television, there was that emotional bond, tying me to the last months I spent with my dad. And it was far stronger than the lure of MTV or VH1, reruns of Spin City or The Mentalist. But I did it. I canceled the account.
Today will be the first day without that wide variety of comforting viewing available. I have already deposited what I would have paid in subscription fees into a savings fund, marked for mission work, for doing good things … for spreading God’s love.
How ironic that I only noticed the service provider’s slogan yesterday:
It seems just right, doesn’t it? I’m changing over to a different form of enriching lives now. By grace! Simplifying my life so I may enrich the lives of others. Isn’t that what it is all about?
I am sure my parents would have felt the same way …