DISCLAIMER - Before you read this, please know I am totally aware that "Netflix and Chill" has two meanings. The slang meaning is having sex -- so if you are a parent, be aware of that. I, however, am referring to the original meaning of the phrase, but am using a title that would cause someone to click on the post and potentially learn something. Please stop messaging me about the dual meaning, I am aware. 😂
I don't really remember the first time I saw the phrase Netflix and Chill, but I do remember thinking that it was a very clever advertising campaign. I love great advertising and I thought Netflix and Chill was just that! It was easy to understand and relate to. I have spent a lot of evenings doing exactly what they were suggesting I do - watching Netflix and chilling.
Fast forward a few months and I'd totally forgotten about the Netflix ad.
This past weekend, I spent this weekend at the Lake Champion Young Life Campground for the Circl3 Fall Retreat. Circl3 is the youth group that I volunteer at and lead a small group of the coolest 10th grade guys ever. The chances of them actually seeing this compliment are very small since it's in written in a blog post and not a text or snapchat. 😂
During the retreat I heard the phrase "Netflix and Chill" so many times. I don't know if Fetty Wap or Drake just put it in a song, but high schoolers are obsessed with the idea. Anytime a speaker asked what the students liked to do someone would scream "NETFLIX AND CHILL!!" and all the students would laugh and nod their heads in agreement.
I really started to think about the burning desire for these students, and myself, to just watch Netflix and chill. It seems like sitting on a couch or bed and binge watching shows has become the pinnacle of living. The more I thought about how often I do that the more frustrated with myself I became.
At the end of my life will I be glad that I was spending so much time chilling with Netflix? Heck no! I don't want that to be the defining phrase of my life. I want to live and live well. I want to love and love deeply. I don't want to be glued to a screen watching and re-watching shows over and over again.
I love TV. Brooke can attest to my deep love for television. You could put almost any episode of The Office on and I can start quoting it word for word, line for line, because I've watched and re-watched the series so many times. So, clearly I am not on a high horse right now, looking down with distain at people who watch to much TV, because I am one of them. (Also, if you don't watch TV.... we get it. You can stop reminding us.)
But I am talking to my fellow TV and Netflix lovers out there. What do you want your life to be focused on? The beautiful, glowing red and white screen of the Netflix logo or something else? Something more?
I want my life to be about something more. Lately, I have been noticing that my heart is crying out for more. My heart wants a more fulfilling life! I want to be engaged with everything in my life. I want to notice every little thing that June does as she grows and her brain develops. I want to notice and react to every kind thing Brooke does for our family. I want engagement, authenticity and reality. I don't want to live in front of a screen and, if I'm super honest, I have been for far too long.
I don't want to come to the end of my life and pass into eternity with Jesus and have Him say, "Imagine what you could have done if the two defining words of your life were Following Jesus and not Netflix and Chill?"
That cuts right to my heart and is so convicting. I want more of Jesus and less of all the other crap in my life. When I have more of Jesus I have more time with my wife, my daughter and all the other things that make my heart full. When I have more of Jesus I have more purpose, passion and desire to do something for Him! No matter how many times I read the gospel I can't find any verses about binge watching shows. I don't think it's part of His plan for my life and that is a hard pill to swallow.
Honestly, I don't even want to write this post, because that means I have to change something about the way I live. AND I DON'T WANT TO! I want to sit on my couch tonight and watch Friends or The Walking Dead or anything... I want to scroll through movies for 30 minutes just to start re-watching something I've already seen. I don't want to change and you can't make me!! AHHH!!
But again, at the end end of my life I want to look back and know that I lived. I want to take my final breath with satisfaction and not with frustration. I think if I continue the way I am going I will be frustrated. I will have regrets and I don't want that.
So, how do I change? What does it look like?
I am definitely not one of those people that is going to tell you to throw away your television and start using a flip phone. I am just going to encourage you (and myself) to practice some self control, which, last time I checked, is a fruit of the spirit. I am going to challenge you to start cutting the time in front of Netflix and start adding time in front of your spouse, kids, parents, friends - face to face with an actual conversation. I am going to challenge you to spend 22 minutes reading your Bible, talking and listening to God instead of watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother. If Netflix isn't your time waster, I know something else is. So start practicing the same self control with that. Put down the iPhone, video game controller or whatever else you want to limit and start living.
I personally know that to start living this way, I need to totally shock my system. So, starting tomorrow I am going to say goodbye to watching Netflix for eight days. I am going to use the next eight days, Netflix free, to focus on the One Night Only event we are having. I am going to read, listen and pray to God about the event. I am going to sit down at the table and have dinner with Brooke. I am going to play with June. I am going to read books. I am going to write. I am going to draw. I am going to wash dishes. I am going to clean. I am going to do anything I can instead of Netflix. Will it be easy for me? Absolutely not! I will probably complain a lot and try to talk myself into "just one episode". Shocking your system is never easy.
I look at self control as a muscle and I need to work it out when it comes to Netflix. What will the end of the eight days look like? I don't know. Will I still watch Netflix from time to time after the eight days, of course. Because Brooke and I really do enjoy snuggling on the couch and watching shows. But I want to limit that (the Netflix part, not the snuggling part!) and actually use it as entertainment and not just a time filler. I want my time fillers to be conversations, love favors, laughing, playing with June and time with Jesus. I want the "time fillers" in my life to be things that actually fill my heart.
And so, here it goes: My name is T.J. Mousetis and I am a Netflix and Chill addict. I wholeheartedly believe continuing to live this way will lead to a totally average life. And I don't want to have a totally average life! I want to live an extraordinary life for Jesus. I want to change my Netflix and chill attitude and I am finally going to do something about it. I want you to join me. I want the two defining words of my life to be Following Jesus and not Netflix and Chill.