Name: Helen Lee
Lenten Commitment: Procrastinate less by giving up binge-watching TV and YouTube videos
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
English Standard Version
Have you ever kicked yourself for not doing the one thing that you really needed to do because you were doing something that you really did not have to do? Have you ever sworn to yourself in those panic-stricken final minutes that you would never procrastinate again? How did that turn out?
I have gone through the “procrastinate – kick self – repeat” cycle so many times that I can hardly remember what life is like without procrastination. It is a sin that I have struggled with throughout my school life and still battle to this day in my professional life.
As an enthused psychology major, I have tried to self-diagnose my procrastination habits. Is it because I cannot manage time? Is it because I like the rush of doing things last minute? Is it because I fear failure? While the introspection helped me to understand my behavior, it did not help me to change my ways.
For Lent, I decided to give up the thing that gave me the most short-term gratification and the most long-term anxiety: procrastination, specifically through watching shows and video clips. I knew this commitment would not be easy for two reasons. Procrastination is so ingrained into the fabric of my being that sometimes I do it without even thinking! For example, I start an email with one hand and then reach for my phone with the other. Video content is so accessible. Ten of the apps on my phone can provide me with hours of entertainment in less than two taps.
And, as much as I hate to admit it, I am an impatient person. I like when things have an immediate payoff. However, I am also someone who prefers depth over breadth. I like to take my time and make sure that I have given it all the attention that I can. Curbing the rash side of my personality has made my heart and mind more receptive to the fruits of labor. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice so that we may live, and who are we to throw that gift of life and time away so frivolously?
Now, this is the part of the plot diagram where you would expect a neat climax, right? (H/T to my AP Lit teacher, Mr. Hannon). Well, I am not going to give you one because life is not that easy. Fighting sin is a constant battle. There are days when all I want to do after wracking my brain at work is to numb it with a nice TV binge. There are moments when I watch one episode of something and have to resist the nonchalant voice in my head, urging me to keep up with my friends and watch the rest of the series.
What is different about this Lent is that I have a stronger, faith-backed resolve to break my habit and to make better use of my God-given time. I am praying for strength and guidance because I know that I could not do this on my own. I try to start my day off with the right mindset and do QT in the morning instead of at moving times. Whenever I feel the urge to binge-watch, I divert the energy to something more productive, such as reading or taking a walk around the block. Slowly, but surely, a growing sense of peace and mindfulness is becoming tangible in my life.
I hope this commitment continues to grow and take hold to a point where I can hardly remember my life when I wasn’t taking advantage of every second for God’s glory. I ask my brothers and sisters to take a step back in their lives and examine how you value time by reevaluating how you choose to spend it.
As the Apostle Paul says in Colossians 3:23, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…”
This post is a part of DSYG’s Lent Reflections series meant to educate and inspire readers on the season of Lent and its value in any Christian’s relationship with Christ. For more information on this series, click here.
To read more posts in this year’s series, click here.