I have just had the most incredible day. The refrain “We will never look back. You’re all we can see now” from the Jesus Culture song has been going through my head on a delightful basis. The weather outside was frightful. There was freezing rain this morning as I carefully navigated the sidewalks on my way to church. But it was a manageable problem. I like manageable problems. They make my day more interesting.
As a speaker led the congregation through “silence” (prayer and meditation), this morning, an interesting thought popped into my head. What if God became my source of entertainment?
Yesterday I had a conversation with someone discussing how God has been having a conversation with me over the last several years regarding what TV shows, music and books I allow myself to be entertained by. (At least half the time He was trying to have the conversation with me, I was carefully ignoring Him.) But over time as I have noticed the effects of certain shows and music in my life, I have begun to listen and started doing a fair amount of reading and listening to “uplifting” information throughout my day, whether it is a favorite podcast, a message on YouTube, a book on growing or the Scriptures.
As I thought about it, I could picture my life becoming very dull. What if at some point I just started learning information? What if it became a way to feed my love for school? What if someday I just started going through the routine? What if I started watching Jesus and His followers instead of following?
Dictionary.com’s first two definitions of entertainment read, “the act of entertaining; agreeable occupation for the mind; diversion; amusement: Solving the daily crossword puzzle is an entertainment for many. 2. something affording pleasure, diversion, or amusement, especially a performance of some kind:”
I already know half the time when I listen to something uplifting, perhaps three-quarters of the time, it is a mere diversion. Yes, I learn something. Yes, I can apply it to my life. Yes, I often do apply it to my life in at least a small way. But really, I just want some background noise for my computer work.
So what is the solution? Am I going to listen to fewer messages or read less? Probably not. But I will begin to seek God more in it. To make sure there is a relationship that is backing up the information. That I am not thinking of God or my journey through life with Him as a “diversion”, the easiest way to stay out of trouble and keep from being bored. I suppose if God became my source of entertainment, my life could become as pointless as solving a crossword puzzle. Challenging and enjoyable enough in the moment, but no eternal significance to anyone involved whatsoever. Unless I suppose I am solving the crossword with someone while building an amazing relationship, but I think overall, you get my point. God as entertainment = crossword as entertainment. Without relationship, it is all pointless.
In keeping with the old adage “there is nothing new under the sun”, James has something to say about this…
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.” – James 1:22-25