Sometimes, it is necessary to wander off in the wilderness first in order to appreciate a clear path.
I was an on and off drug addict, alcoholic, and chronic smoker for some ten years of my younger life. On the side, I was a casino gambler from time to time. I enjoyed baccarat (a card game) and the slot machines very much. Video games was one of my pastimes too, especially when I am both broke and under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The reason I was doing these was because I wanted to be diverted from years of dreary everyday routine of going to and fro from work. I thought to myself “Is this all there is to it”?
Why does a person need to entertained? One of the most common reason is casual boredom, ennui being at its highest level; or not just having enough worthwhile things to do, or just plain tired of everyday routine, called the “rut”. To be entertained is to be amused or diverted; to be shifted from a dull or lethargic existence to a more disporting, transporting, and engrossing one.
Most common forms of entertainment:
- Alcoholism – This is beyond just loosing up or relaxing. This is habitual drunkenness, the highest level of which is taking a shot of liquor or a bottle of beer to awaken up in the morning.
- Cigarette smoking – Probably to while away dull hours, or just have something to do; or to amuse oneself while thinking of the next thing to do.
- Drug abuse – An escape to an altered world because normal existence has lost its appeal.
- Revelry – Wild entertainment: partying and merrymaking; includes nightclubbing, going to loud rock concerts, etc.
- Games – This includes casino gambling and the like; card games, slot-machines, etc. Computer gaming has to some degree become addicting. It has ballooned into a multi-billion dollar business in just a few years because more and more need to be entertained.
- Violent sports – Do we need to see people hurting each other to win a “sports” game?; or watch two men or women brawling and knocking each other out to unconsciousness because we need to be entertained. These are just some of the forms of entertainment available in our society. There are many more mankind has innovated and invented to keep up the varieties to choose from (at same time keep the money flowing). Extreme sports is just one of them. Do you need to risk life and limb to get a rush and entertain at the same time (and be glorified too, huh)?
I can understand why most people in the world do not want the truth. No, they don’t want it – especially the truths of God. The are busy.They would rather be entertained: watch sci-fi movies, read some magical fiction novels, listen to the latest Hollywood celebrity news, rumors and gossips, or go to nightclubs, etc. In today’s world, entertainment has taken over enlightenment; and in the absence of the latter, more and more means of distractions or diversions are required to keep the insatiable minds occupied.
What is driving someone to seek more and different means of diversions? Why is he or she not at peace? What is he or she looking for? Could emptiness and darkness be the deeper, subtle cause why a person resort to entertainments? Could the absence of alternative knowledge be the cause also? Or both?
People do things because those are the only things they know to do. There is some kind of blindness in our society. I can relate to those who are experiencing these things because they happened to me.
Let us go to the Bible, our source of enlightenment, and look at the insight and advice of Solomon, an ancient wise king:
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding”. (Pr. 4.7 KJV)
Solomon was speaking in this instance of how his father, while he was yet a young boy, advised him concerning a matter: that wisdom and understanding is the principal, or foremost thing in this world.
Now, how do you get wisdom and understanding? Here is his tip:
“The fear of the LORD, is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction”. (Pr. 1.7)
The LORD God is the source of all understanding there is in this world – and to fear Him is just the beginning of it. There is no other God but the God of the Bible. Everyone has to get back to Him, if you want to be enlightened. No matter what we do here, we cannot separate enlightenment from God, our Creator. He who made us knows what it is all about. He who said “Let there be light…”(Gen. 1.3) knows what enlightenment means. It practically indicates a “clearing up” – that is, an appearance of light amidst darkness.
Solomon’s father, King David, clearly expressed it:
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path“. (Ps. 119.105)
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple”. (Ps. 119.130)
The Bible, the word of God collectively, is a light. He then sent the personified Light, His Son:
“…I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life“. (Jn. 8.12)
Quit being entertained by this world. Get out of the wilderness:
“…for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth“. (Jn. 12.35)
And see the big difference:
- An enlightened person would rather pick a hobby or sport than get drunk or drugged.
- An enlightened person would rather save or use money wisely than squander it away in a gambling facility.
- An enlightened person would rather teach or share goodness and righteousness than spread the current showbiz rumors and gossips.
- An enlightened person would rather do a regular housecleaning or some home improvement work than spend his free time in bars or computer game shops.
- An enlightened person would rather watch a video on upgrading one’s skills or learning a new business than watch a showdown between two mixed martial artists.
- And the list goes on.
An enlightened person chooses a form of entertainment that is healthy, useful, and creative, because he already knows his priorities and what really matter.
Would you rather be entertained by this world, or be enlightened? The choice is yours. (This writer has obviously chosen the latter – otherwise, this article would not have been possible).