Speaking of leashes. A prayer I perfected in college is, “Lord, keep me on a short leash.” Meaning, “Please don’t let me mess up too badly. Stop me before it gets to be a big mess!”
I realized the error of my ways and that I was not mature enough to play in a big yard. I needed close boundaries to tie me to God’s Word, His life and His best. On my own, I had made a giant train wreck of my life. I knew it could be better but only if I learned God’s principles for living a pure life.
I could not be trusted. I had accountability from roommates, Bible study leaders, girlfriends and mother figures. I was on fire for the Lord and nothing could stop me. Especially since I had eyes watching.
I graduated from college, lived by myself and eventually got married. I quickly learned that having a husband isn’t always the same as having an accountability partner. We have rocked some areas but bombed in others. Together.
I was reminded of my short leash prayer this week when reading in New York Times bestseller Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst. In the book, she talks about reaching her goal weight and the blessing and the curse found therein. The blessing is obvious. Her skinny jeans slide on effortlessly, she is healthy and her self discipline brings dependence on Jesus. The curse is that she, in her deprived state, wants to taste all she’s given up for the past weeks.
And sometimes, just a taste is just too much.
I lived on my own after college. For part of that time I didn’t have a television. When I got one, I watched it. Lots. Then I got a roommate. I didn’t watch television that much unless I was watching something with friends. Then I got married. My husband likes electronics. We had televisions! I was able to watch what I wanted when I wanted. So I did. And before I knew it, I had shows and a watching schedule and habits.
A few years ago, God convicted me that I was watching too much. I realized I could do more work without the TV and I would read my Bible at night when I wasn’t distracted by it. So, after
some lots of nudging from God, I quit recording my shows and kept the TV off unless I was spending time with my family watching what they chose.
Then I got cancer. I got tired. When I was going through radiation, I was so tired that I didn’t feel like doing anything. I got too sore to sleep. I watched lots of TV. For the past nine months, I have been turning on the television more and more.
God has been calling me away with Him.
I decided for Lent, I will go.
No more recording shows.
No more stealing away to see my latest episodes.
No more falling asleep to the drone of CSI.
In Made to Crave, Lysa says, “So, lest we start mourning what will be lost, we must celebrate all that’s being gained through this process.”
And more than looking forward to Lent ending so I can turn on the TV again, I look forward to becoming closer to Christ, my One and Only.
I’m hoping I don’t turn the television on at all after Lent.
“Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial.” 1 Corinthians 6:12
My short leash keeps me in a beneficial place.