Does it entertain or transform?

Entertainment…who doesn’t like the sound of that word? Sounds like something fun to do. Sounds like a good way to spend your days. What do you think of when you hear that word? What entertains you? What or who do you entertain?

The thesaurus defines entertainment as an activity that is diverting and that holds the attention. Some of the synonyms for entertainment according to the online thesaurus are amusement, diversion, recreation and distraction. I don’t know about you, but some of those words are curious to me when thinking about entertainment…diversion and distraction. I like the sound of amusement and recreation, but diversion and distraction? Those almost sound like a waste of valuable time to me. They sound like an escape from something else more important that I should be doing. But that brings me back to what entertains you and who or what do you entertain?
What if there is value in entertainment? What if you are spending quality time with your family while being entertained? What if you are entertaining your kid and get to enjoy their smiles and laughter? What if you are reading a great book that changes your life?
I’ve often looked at movies and theatre and sporting events as entertainment…and they are. I’ve looked at them as just for fun. I love to have fun! I had a conversation about entertainment the other day that really made me ponder other things that I spend my time doing that I hadn’t really considered to be entertainment. I love to read books that engage my mind in areas of spiritual development. I like to learn new things about God and His ways and His Kingdom. I love attending worship nights. I enjoy a good sermon and a good podcast. I like participating in bible studies and chewing on His word with other chewers of His word. And it was pointed out that this too is entertainment. And it made me pause….
Is that all I am doing with those things…being entertained? Is there no purpose in them outside amusement, recreation, diversion and distraction? Sometimes…that is probably exactly what they are. ..YIKES! Yes,they are fun to me, but I want more out of them than fun. I don’t think the authors and preachers and worship leaders have a desire to entertain. I think their desire is to inspire and build up and edify and transform. I KNOW that is God’s desire for those things. I also know I’ve sailed thru more than my share of books and bible studies and worship nights and left unchanged. No more changed than a night at the movies or an evening at the ball park.
I’ve spent hours reading and chewing and discussing and being entertained by things of God. It hasn’t been a bad way to spend my time. I can think of a lot worse. But wouldn’t it be more fun to know there was more to these things than their entertainment value? Wouldn’t it be more fun to get in the game and engage and live it out and be a part of it? Wouldn’t it be more fun to know your life was being transformed instead of just amused and distracted? And what if that is all you are doing with those things…being distracted?
OUCH!! I want to have fun AND be transformed!!!