“then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour?” Mark 14:37
“Could you not keep watch for one hour,” Jesus asked His first disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane just before he was arrested. In the Lord’s most anguished moment the disciples were sleeping. We can say that they were weak from ministering all day, tired or did not understand the events about to unfold. When things started to happen, in the moments that followed, even fear was added to the list and Peter denied Christ. It was not until Pentecost that we see Peter and the other disciples faithfully living out their new life in Christ. But what about us? We have the Holy Spirit’s power enabling us to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 6:1) and fulfill the law of Christ (Romans 8:4); yet, many of us are sleeping. We are not tired or weak from ministering all day. Surely, we understand the Gospel better than the original twelve at that point in their lives. In this country, we have no fear of real persecution such as Peter did; yet something very powerful is putting us to sleep as Christ continues to pray, once again, this time from heaven. (Roman 8:34) What’s putting us to sleep? T.V. and anything with a screen!
Creation House has a children’s curriculum called Kid’s Church. The introduction video for this children’s ministry gives us some alarming information concerning the mind set of the average America child and family for that matter. The brain waves patterns for T.V. watching match those patterns that occur during sleep. In other words, looking at screens or T.V. is like sleeping with your eyes wide open. Could you not keep watch with Jesus for one hour in instead of sleeping? Of course not, you’re watching something else and it is putting you to sleep. At least, when your body is physically asleep, you can say that it is being restored, renewed. This is not the case when your body is awake, but your brain believes you are asleep. During these times your body is not at a healthy rest and you are not engaged in any meaningful activity. You are not building relationships with Christ, family, church family, or your community. Isn’t it time to wake up?
The Apostle Paul told the Ephesians, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” Ephesians 5:14 If Paul was around today, he would say, wake up, O T.V. watcher, rise from the dead. The Ephesians weren’t and today we are not physically dead. However, many are dead in the area of their fruitfulness. We know from Revelations 2:4 that the Ephesians had forsaken their first love, Christ. Has the TV, your laptop, phone, computer, theater or any other screen in your life distracted you from the One who should be your “first love?” Have they caused you to fall sleep and be ineffective in your Christian walk? A little sleep (T.V. watching), a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest – and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man. Proverb 6:10-11 Poverty is not just measured in economics, but it is measured in spiritual matters, as well. Is the American Christian Family in spiritual poverty because it has become lazy and gone to sleep? Wake up, O Sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.”
You have an opportunity to be a change agent for your family, friends and anyone who falls under your influence. Consider a fast (abstinence) from screens. I know some of you must use screens for work. So, consider a fast from any screen time that would be solely for entertainment. Instead, use these times from reading, studying God’s Word. Spend the evening playing games with your family, go bowling, play a round of miniature golf, build a fire and roast marshmallows, tells stories from your life, your parent’s or grandparent’s lives. Invite someone out for dinner or over for a meal; invest in them. Maybe you need to turn the screens off and get some real sleep. Let’s reclaim this lost, unfruitful practice with something that will make our lives better and bless those closest to us.