“Are you not entertained?”
These were the words shouted by Maximus in the amazing movie, Gladiator (2000). After slaying Roman soldiers in The Coliseum, former General and now slave Maximus gave them what they wanted. He gave them entertainment.
I am an entertainment and information junkie. Pre-digital age, I could spend hours in a library or a Barnes & Noble just filling my brain with any type of information possible. I even subscribe to Entertainment Weekly as it is my magazine candy. How appropriate.
I read blog post after post about being distracted by the entertainment of this world. I’m the guiltiest of the guilty when it comes to this. I often wonder what I would do if I couldn’t access “entertainment” and “information” at every moment? To illustrate my point, I’ve got ESPN on in the background as I writes this (cue me taking a moment to turn the tv off and actually focus on writing this to avoid extreme hypocrisy). It hit me how much I try to cram in so much information into each moment when my body, heart, and mind can’t process it fast enough. I’m simply not created to effectively keep up with this information madness.
I can feel God saying in my life, “Dave, you need to have balance. Focus on me first and slow down.”
Today’s reading from My Utmost for His Highest put it into perspective for me,
It is not a question of giving up sin, but of giving up my right to myself, my natural independence, and my self-will. This is where the battle has to be fought. The things that are right, noble, and good from the natural standpoint are the very things that keep us from being God’s best.
But is it sin to be constantly distracted? By my experience is sure feels like it. Oswald Chambers points out that even though some of the things we fill our lives with are good, they still keep us at a distance from God. It keeps us from the “best” God wants for us. I fear being behind in the information age but I’m reminded by God in his whispers that I need to focus on Him first to make sense of it all. So that leaves me with this commitment:
I’m going to spend more time thinking.
I’m going to spend more time dreaming.
I’m going to spend more time praying.
After that, I have a stack of books (physical and digital) that I have waiting to read. He will bless in that time after spending time first with Him.
Furthermore in My Utmost,
If we do not purposely sacrifice the natural, the supernatural can never become natural to us. There is no high or easy road.
God gave us Matthew 6:33 for a reason:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
It is not easy. It is not supposed to be but know that you are not alone in this daily if not minute by minute battle. But I know in those moments when I do seek him first, the blessing is beyond imagination compared to any entertainment.