You know I’ve written about internet addition… e-mail… group list mail addiction… AOL… Geocities… One-List… eGroups… screen addiction… information addiction… whatever could be looked up… early on: Ask Jeeves. Bling. Ask him… ask him anything. Then Yahoo, then Google… click, click, click… Bling. You’ve got mail… Bling! Click, click, click… Blogs! Bling! Facebook. Bling! Pinterest. Bling!
I write what I’m learning… I share what I see, what I experience, what God is teaching me. You know; through a series of trials, disappointments and losses I was presented face to face with the reality that I was/am an internet addict. By the grace of God and through the love of my husband, I had to face this reality and, after some time had passed, learn to make changes — and when it was obvious I could not be self governing, I had to have boundaries — literal restrictions — placed on my computer. Like a drug addict, I am powerless over media. And… like a drug addict, I didn’t realize what was going on around me, nor did I realize I was causing others to resent me — the time I was spending online and the time I was not spending with them. And guess what the fruit of this was/is? Yes… in many ways, family and friends addicted to media. That is not sweet fruit.
So… I implore you today. Get fences. Get restrictions on your media. Get pruned. Get staked. Learn to live within the boundaries so that you will be more fruitful, more fragrant, more productive… You’ll see. And you’ll be amazed.
Two years ago, when I handed my computer to my husband, I knew I had to come to grips with internet addiction/family hurts and my walk with the LORD. Then, months later, when I had worked through and walked through where I was, what I’d done and what I needed to do: my one hour’s use per day almost seemed like a worse prison than no computer use per day… but that time was actually a school of prayer and more repentance, more revelation of what had happened (and why it happened) and what needed to happen. What I thought was a punishment was a blessing. What I thought was too hard was actually a marvelous mercy. What I thought was too restrictive has become my greatest freedom.
Now, as in this little window of allocated/measured time, I have freedom — permission — blessing — to use this computer and I can choose to use the time to browse, listen to sermons, to research, to read/write devotionals, blogs, connect with my children and friends… bcz I’m in step with the plan for my days. It’s freeing. This humbling limitation has given me so much assurance and freedom.
It’s joked about sometimes around here — this restriction — and it reminds me of people’s comments to me early on when we only had one vehicle for many years and my husband was gone all day. I could walk to the store for my groceries — returning with what could be carried or hung on the stroller. It was freeing to me to not “run around” in the car — to plan my days and outings, to live within those boundaries. I didn’t always know it and probably couldn’t appreciate it. But I know and appreciate it now. These things affirm to me that God never wastes a thread.