How Reality TV Changed Me

Most of my new year's resolutions fail miserably. I think they fail because they're the same every single year (work out, eat healthy, blah blah blah). Not bad goals, but there is nothing measurable about "I'm going to work out more." How often? Where? When?

Because of the lack of success with my earlier resolutions, in January of 2011 I decided to pick something very measurable: give up reality TV. Yep, all of it. I'm not proud to admit this, but I was addicted to Keeping Up With The Kardashians. I don't mean I would watch it once in a while if it was on and I was channel surfing, I mean I would record every episode, watch it, save it, and re-watch it. It wasn't an easy resolution, but I stuck to it. Of course that had to be the year Kim and Kris had their epic wedding special, but when they separated 72 days later I was glad I hadn't watched the two hour ordeal.

At first I missed all the drama of reality shows, but after a few months I stopped thinking about them. I had a lot more free time (I didn't have kids at the time), I noticed how productive I could be in the evening, how many more books I was able to finish, and how much more interested I was in other people's lives. But something else was happening...I wasn't being inundated with the world's expectations of how I should look, what I should wear, what my house should look like and what kind of car I should drive. By the way, it wasn't just the show itself telling me those things, it was the commercials too. I decided the resolution needed to stick and haven't watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians since. I do love a little TLC or HGTV from time to time, but nothing close to the hours I day I used to spend in front of the TV. Plus, thanks to Dave Rasmey, we don't have cable anymore so that helps too. 

In the fall of 2012, Zac and I joined our first small group. Your church might call them cell groups, community groups, etc. but basically it was four couples doing a Bible study together. I was pretty miserable at work at the time and someone in our group suggested I listen to Air1 on my drive. I found Christian radio to be such a wonderful way to start the day that I haven't listened to much else since.

Taking a break from the world's messages had a bigger impact on me than I realized. One morning last week the radio was tuned to a poplar soft-rock station. I didn't think much of it, plus it just seemed wrong to change the station when Adele was on. Then the commercials started. This particular station was advertising a contest to win tickets to some sort of red carpet event. I don't remember the exact verbiage, but it was something like, "Be the center of attention and the envy of all your friends when you fly first class to LA  and strut your stuff on the red carpet for everyone to see." Hmm….

Two years ago this commercial wouldn't have phased me. In fact, I probably would have entered the contest, convinced myself that I needed to win the trip because I deserved it and it would make me happy. I would have tentatively put the dates in my calendar, known who I was taking as my guest and pre-planned how to tell them the amazing news. As I've mentioned before, I am a control freak, so I have a tendency to imagine how things will play out before they happen, and therefore would have been devastated when I didn't win. 

That morning I couldn't put my finger on it, but something just didn't feel quite right. I changed the station to Air1. Let me share what I was greeted with... 

I made my castle tall
I built up every wall
This is my kingdom and it needs to fall
I want you and no one else
Empty me of myself
Until the only thing that’s left is

More of You
Less of me
Make me who I’m meant to be
You’re all I want all I need
You’re everything
Take it all I surrender
Be my king
God I choose
More of You and Less of me
I need more of you
More of you
— More of You by Colton Dixon

By eliminating some of the influences of this world, I was able to more clearly see my need for a Savior. I don't need to keep up with the Kardashians, be the center of attention, or strut my stuff on the red carpet, and it such a relief to not desire those things anymore! I am at peace knowing I have a heavenly Father who knows me better than I know myself. He knows exactly what I need and it isn't a first class trip to LA… He has something so much better in store. 

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." 
Philippians 4:13