Saturday, May 2, 2015

Are you addicted to entertainment?

Football fans have been waiting for this weekend. For several weeks sports talk shows have been slammed with calls and connections with predictions from their audiences about what might happen at this year's NFL draft.

Now that the draft is concluding, what's one of the loudest responses heard?

"It was so boring!"

Let's interpret that more correctly so that we understand what so many really are saying, which is something more like this ...

"Entertain me! Entertain me! Entertain me!"

Many people are whining that the NFL draft was boring. Well let me ask you this: When was the last time you observed major employment negotiations and their announcements as being a form of entertainment?

That, after all, is what the draft really is: a business hiring new employees. In spite of that reality, we complain about it being boring. A couple of sports talk show hosts last night went as far as suggesting that when a team goes "on the clock," the NFL should have a band from that team's city perform to make the wait more entertaining!

That's just one of so many examples of just how self-absorbed we have become. With smartphones in our pockets to provide videos to watch, music to listen to, social media to update, texts for "conversations," and games to play, we are filling every minute with some form of keeping ourselves "entertained." And when something isn't entertaining for us, we consider it boring and not worthy of our interest or attention.

That reminds me of the time when British actor Michael Wilding was asked if actors had any traits which set them apart from other human beings.

"Without a doubt," he replied. "You can pick out actors by the glazed look that comes into their eyes when the conversation wanders away from themselves."

In like manner, we've become so self-absorbed that even when we're with others, it's still all about us.

One cold winter's day a crowd of people stood in front of a pet shop window and watched a litter of puppies snuggling up to each other. One woman laughed and said, "What a delightful picture of brotherhood! Look at how those puppies are keeping each other warm!" A man next to her replied, "No, ma'am, they're not keeping each other warm --- they're keeping themselves warm."

With such an addiction to being constantly entertained, is it any wonder that so many churches feed that addiction? Sunday mornings have, in many churches, become an entertaining show with a motivational speech or self-help seminar rather than other-focused fellowship, worship that lowers ourselves and lifts Christ, and biblical messages with some theological heft.

There is nothing wrong with having some entertainment in our lives, but we've twisted that to be a need for constantly being entertained. At the heart of such a demand is a centering and focus on self, an orientation that now should be increasingly alien to the Christian ...

"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me," Galatians 2:20.

If Christ lives in us, we will no longer have a desire to fill every moment of our lives with the entertainments of this world. We learn to take the focus off of ourselves and find interest in listening to others, especially the Lord.

If you have a hunger for constantly being entertained, at the root of that is likely a spiritual hunger that only Jesus Christ can quench.

Scotty

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