The Price

So I’m just laying there on the couch, sick with the flu. When I wake up I realize the television is on but I’m not really watching it — it is just there in the room, kind of like the paint and the wallpaper. I’m in a daze, a fever induced trance.

Glancing over at the table I see the book I want to be reading, but I don’t have the energy to pick it up and read. Besides, if I did try to read the pages would probably be spinning before my eyes.

A new television show comes on and I realize it must be the top of the hour.

After about fifteen minutes I realize I am now watching television and become aware of what I am witnessing. Maybe the Tylenol kicked in and my fever dropped. For whatever reason my eyes were actually focused on the screen.

Contestants come on down. Contrived games are played. A big wheel is spun. Prices are guessed. Sweeping gestures are made by models. Contestants win and lose.

They cry.

They jump up and down.

They scream.

They are overcome with emotion at jackpots and showcases.

And I wonder why I have never heard the morality watchdogs express warnings about this show. After all, they get all worked up about most any presentation of sexuality, why not at this? But its not just the watchdogs — its me. Have I become so acculturated that I no longer recognize greed? Have I become so comfortable in the dominant culture that I no longer live according to an alternative spiritual culture?

I mute the television. Words from God begin swirling around in my head.

“But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9 NLT).

“Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts” (1 John 5:21 NLT).

“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don’t be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5 NLT).

And I drifted back to sleep.

God, my Father, I need to wake up.

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