You likely have no idea what hiaties are, so let me explain. A few weeks ago Will and I decided that the weekend-only video game policy needed review. While video games provide many laughs in our home, they are sometimes obsessed over. Sam in particular is prone to video-game addiction. As we have done many times before we put the gaming system away (Will actually hides it and I truly don’t even know where it is).
Sam came home from school that Friday as happy and unsuspecting as a lark. His reaction, which was embarrassingly witnessed in full by a friend from out of town, was stupefying. Oh the begging! The devastation! The submission of his life savings! The case against him having a serious problem was more airtight than the case against OJ.
Thankfully his detox only took about a day. That Saturday we went on a hike that he wasn’t overly enthused to go on. Yet once we got there he didn’t want to leave. One gushing waterfall wasn’t enough. He wanted to hike another mile to see a different one. Amazing how impactful spending time in creation can be, isn’t it?
Yet the addiction is not completely gone because this week he said, “You know, Mom, it’s not really a hiaty if it’s gone forever.” Clearly we’ve had greater success in teaching Sam the meaning of “hiatus” than its pronunciation. And I’m pretty much in love with his nuanced analysis. But while I appreciate his observation, it did not result in the PS4 being returned.
Honestly it only has me thinking all the more about how vital “hiaties” are. The Bible is chock full of warnings about guarding your mind. How are you doing on this? You filling up only on good things — whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely and commendable? Paul says if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about those things. (Philippians 4:8). You doing alright on this? Or might you benefit from a hiaty?
I for one need to review the mindless time I spend online. I’ll sit down to answer one quick email, and next thing you know I’m watching Prince cover Radiohead. I don’t even know how I got there. Or I’ll be meaning to order one little thing on Amazon and next thing I know I’ve scrolled through every Facebook post since 2009. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, thankfully. But it’s mindless, entirely mindless. The one thing it’s not is harmless. It’s a downward spiral. It’s not excellent or praiseworthy and I end feeling like a loser, which in turn makes me feel uninspired and unproductive. There’s a time to unwind and I love keeping up with old and new friends on social media, but I need to stop the mindless scroll.
Plus there are Christian bloggers I follow or friends link to in that mindless scroll that I sometimes find downright disturbing. You can be funny, you can be caring, you can be charismatic but if you disregard the teaching of the Bible then how is that really helpful? I want to be spurred on, not dragged down. I need a hiatus from this discouragement.
Maybe you need a hiatus too? For some, it might be politics. For others it might be media that fuels obsession with appearance or wealth or the picture-perfect home. I don’t know what it is, but I bet everyone could use a hiaty or two.
I love these words from Paul, again from Philippians.
“Do not be anxious about anything but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heats and minds in Christ Jesus.” (4:6-7)
Yes, may God’s peace guard both my heart and mind. And yours too.