When Netflix is a Spiritual Practice

Credit: redjar on Flickr via Creative Commons

Credit: redjar on Flickr via Creative Commons

Tonight I come before you…exhausted. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. I have no braining power left. Everything’s making me cry, because my baseline emotional default setting includes leaky eyes. Work, relationships, and the general obligation of trying to be a decent human being have leveled me this week.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t still things to do. Classes to prep for. Parties to plan. Jeans to wash and kitchens to de-grime. Dogs to let out and friends to connect with. Blog posts to write. So I have a drink, upper or downer depending on the situation, and keep plugging along. I feel like I could sleep for 38 hours. Or jump in my car and run away to Denver. Or hop a train to Chicago. What my calendar and bank account confirm is that none of these are viable options. What is an option, however, is to drag my slow-moving carcass home later tonight, collapse in my cozy loft, and spend a few precious hours staring at a screen.

There was a time in my life when I would have judged such a plan with the harshest and most pretentious eye roll, shaming myself for wasting time watching other people’s creative works instead of investing in my own. What younger, idealistic me couldn’t yet know is that there would be weeks like this one: weeks full of exploding pipes, impossible relationship situations, around-the-clock work situations, and the constant drone of adult responsibility.

If you’ll pardon the cliché, the tank is empty. And I’ve learned something about myself in recent years. A good story, a well-crafted, visually stimulating, and engaging story, can fill my soul like a rainstorm filling a dusty well. Like prayer can fill me when my soul longs for Jesus, a few hours with a truly good show or film can fill me when my soul longs for beauty, for truth, for creative energy. Our hearts long for those things just as much as we long for a touch from God. Or, more truly, our hearts long for those things because we long for a touch from God. And He stretches many kinds of hands out to us when we are in need. So I’ll spend a few hours mining the depths of others’ creative endeavors. I will soak up everything I can. I will fall into a mini-coma before starting it all back up in the morning. And soon I hope to have something beautiful of my own to contribute to the pool, so when you have a week like mine you’ll find the water you seek.



  1. Elizabeth Otulakowski said,

    January 14, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Sorry your week has been so rough. 😦 I pray that it will get better.

    • MandyK said,

      January 14, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Oh thanks so much. A few good nights’ sleep and things are definitely looking brighter. And honestly a few hours each night with “Chuck” really has been pretty fulfilling!

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