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Oh how wretched am I. A confession by Frank.
Jan 9th, 2016 at 5:38pm
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So am I feeling pretty wretched and a 'slave to sin' right now.

I have spent most of my day today in front of the computer, and have sinned elsewise too.

From an early age I had an obsessive/compulsive disposition.  As a little kid, I might bump into a wall and then go back and bump into it 16 more times.  Multiples of four are standard for people with obsessive/compulsive dispositions, this is not something unique to me. 

I would assume such a disposition, like most others, can go good or bad.  Obsessiveness I think has helped me to think pretty well on some intellectual topics (some of you might disagree!).  For example, when I got the impulse to discover if there was a firm, completely unshakeable ground to justify public school music education and music education in general, I pursued my search for the truth, hard though it was, far beyond the realm of mere music education until I finally arrived at the base of all things: God (from there one could discover what is the sacred purpose of music, because like all arts ultimately what is not serving a sacred purpose is trivial to a more or less extent.)

So much for the good.

The bad is that I have a tendency to get addicted to bad habits.  Now of course all people have this to some extent, and all sin is hard to overcome ("He who sins is a slave to sin.").  But I do think some sins can be classified as addictive more than others.  I think there is a difference between the person with an addictive compulsion and someone who is just mean, or priggish, or cruel.

So, I think overall modern electronic devices have pulled me in (as with so many others), and inflamed the obsessive/addictive side of my personality.

I got my first video game system in 2nd grade and proceeded to play Super Mario all day long that first Christmas.  Growing up both my brother and I played our video game systems, but we always only had one at a time and it was pretty much known that the systems were always mine, along with most of the games.  My brother engaged in other activities like building models, much of the time.

I spent many thousands of hours sitting in front of a screen, when I wasn't out playing with the boys in the neighborhood.  Who knows how much I might have read, or practiced without those video game systems?

Anyways, my completely arbitrary obsessiveness generally faded away (the 'go back and open and shut the door 16 times' type of obsessiveness).  I think all my obsessive nature went into video games and later computers.

So, to the more recent.

I have not had a video game system for 3 years or so, and no smart phone either, by choice, so generally now my addictive nature is channeled into a desktop computer. 

What tends to happen is I tell myself I will only go on the computer for a little bit of time, than something on the internet grabs my attention and I have spent more time than I told myself I would, so I get mad at myself and get down and wind up not leaving the computer and before you know it hours have passed.

Today I told myself I would just check my email, check the substitute teaching website where jobs are posted and then go do something, probably go to church and practice organ and piano.  But I must have clicked on a news article or something and before you know it, hours later I am still in front of the computer.

I think this sin is somewhat related, though not completely related, to my engaging in the sin of watching internet pornography.  Sometimes I am doing something else, and then the urge comes on me, and I go to the computer and give in, other times, like today, I have been wasting time on the computer and I feel like a wretch and then I feel like 'might as well after all the time I wasted today' and I just do the dirty deed.

I have wondered what my life would be like without a computer.  Would the addictive strain in my nature find another bad object to light onto?  I do not know.

But that is my sin.

Tomorrow is a Sunday, first day of the rest of my life as I have said so many times to myself.  But I do think overcoming sin is a process and it is unrealistic to expect that, barring some major descent of grace onto a person, one will just instantly overcome it.  I do think I have gotten better at recovering from sin.  That is, I am far more likely to drop my old sin at the beginning of a new day, where as in the past I often carried over a stupid mix of anger and self-pity from one day to the next.

Christ Pantocrator

To say homo sapiens, is to say Homo religiosus; there is no man without God. ~Frithjof Schuon
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Re: Oh how wretched am I. A confession by Frank.
Reply #1 - Jan 9th, 2016 at 6:32pm
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I think it's important to recognize that everything online is designed to grab your attention. It's like people that spend compulsively. You're not just dealing with the desire to spend; you're opposed by professional marketers and trained salespeople. I think if you realize that, you see that this isn't just about "your weakness" but about the strength of your opponent.

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