Entertainment

Last week a friend took up phones at their 12 year old’s sleepover.

This past week I met with a woman interested in volunteering with the ministry I serve. This dear woman was simply delightful and engaging. She had an amazing knack of asking questions that put me at ease and showed an interest in my life. Looking back I realized how rare that is in conversation. Truth is I think she would be great at teaching my generation and my kids generation the art of conversation.

Once we got around to talking about her and I asked her why she was interested in volunteering with Habitat for Hope, her answer has stuck with me. I want to share it with you.  Actually I want to tell myself this daily.  Then, maybe find a really tall mountain to shout it from.

She said something to the effect..”It would be easy at this stage of my life to simply entertain myself. And, I really like to entertain myself. I’ve been to bible study after bible study. I want to put the truths into action.”

Wow!!

How much of our life is spent entertaining ourselves? Seriously….stop…don’t blow past this question.  Think about it.

Now, please hear me, I am not against entertainment. I watch TV.  I like to go to the movies.  I enjoy going out to eat.   But I do believe that without even realizing it I can fall into the entertainment trap where I spend my life thinking only of myself and the best ways to entertain me.

The question in my mind is, “What do I really want to spend my life doing?” Many years ago I read a quote that still comes to mind on a regular basis “When the heart sees what God wants it must be willing to spend and be spent for that cause alone!!”

If I am spending my life entertaining myself, will I be able to see what God wants?  Will I be willing to spend my life for that cause alone?

And, to take it a step further, what about my kids?  It’s my job as a parent to train them.  I cannot neglect this issue of entertainment with them.  Yesterday my friend, Brian, shared an article on his Facebook page.  The following quote is from an interview with tweens (not teens).

“If the kids were stuck on an island and could only bring three things with them, they overwhelmingly would choose technology — their laptop, iPad, iPod, cell phone, or video game system. Technology is their ultimate source of entertainment, whether it be to use apps, watch streaming video (from shows to movies to user-generated videos), or just surf the Web.”

Frightening!!

Here’s some questions I’m pondering in light of all of these thoughts…

  • What if my family committed to read the Bible/pray/worship AS MUCH AS we watch TV (or movies)? We would either have to watch less or read the Bible/pray/worship more—FOR SURE.
  • What if for every hour spent on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter my family spent that same amount of time doing something nice for someone else?
  • What if for every moment spent playing video games, we did something together as a family playing in the yard, going for a walk, visiting with our neighbors?
  • What if we picked one day a week that we turned all technology off? GASP!!!

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts, insights and ideas on how to curb the entertainment craze!!

So I thought I would conduct my own survey with my tween 10 year-old son…what three things he would take..

  • a friend to hang out with
  • a smart brain – so I could be like Benjamin Franklin and invent electricity
  • a tv

Then he said, take those last two back and add…

  • a couple of books (one of them the Bible)
  • God

I love this BOY!!  However…he watches copious amounts of TV and loves to play his video games.

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