by Barbara Rainey
That which has been is that which will be. . . . There is nothing new under the sun. ECCLESIASTES 1:9
We had just returned to the United States after a three-week trip to South Africa. We were glad to be back, of course, but it's always a mixed bag to return to our country. International travel has a way of clearing the fog from one's own nationalistic view of life. America is wonderful, and we are so blessed to experience its freedom and abundance, but returning home provides an opportunity to see this way of life with much more clarity.
After landing and clearing customs at JFK airport in New York, we stopped at a coffee shop in the airport terminal. Since we hadn't seen any news at all on our trip (other than front-page headlines in the South African papers), we sat where we could watch a television and find out what we'd missed.
The incessant chatter of ever-present televisions filled the air—a noise that quickly became irritating after having been away from it for a while. After watching for half an hour, we looked at each other and realized that our three weeks without access to American news information had been no great loss.
Nothing very new or significant was being offered on the morning parade of programs. Most of it actually seemed quite silly, empty and valueless.
The conclusion was obvious. We Americans are not comfortable with silence and quiet. We are addicted, it seems, to celebrity twaddle and random acts of mayhem caught on cell-phone cameras. What a waste of time.
There really is nothing new under the sun. Especially on cable news channels.
Evaluate the television shows you watched this past week and determine if there was anything you just really couldn't have done without. Then evaluate the amount of time you spend absorbing it all. Discuss any needed changes in your viewing habits.
Ask the Lord for a discerning spirit, one that understands how valuable your time is, and for wisdom to know how to not let television rob you of your most important relationships.