Distracted and Thristy
Undoubtedly by now you have heard about the new wave sweeping the nation called Pokémon Go. At any given moment, you may be driving around town and witnessing a whole new generation that for the first time in many years, are actually stepping outside. Even my family and I have thrown a few Poké-balls attempting to, as the game’s motto states, “catch them all”. Although, I am not against entertainment as a whole, and contrary to my perceived “puritanism,” I think a bit of fun is alright once in a while. However, when entertainment becomes a means of escape from reality and your “all in all,” then that’s where the real danger ensues.
To put it in perspective, during Pokémon Go’s record breaking release on July 6th, there was an investigation regarding another police shooting, an attempted military coup in Turkey, the ongoing debacle of the Clinton email scandal, and another incident of the terror from the likes of ISIS and al-Qaeda. All the while millions of people were fixated on their smartphone screens to find an imaginary animal running around in their backyard or dining room. I have to ask, am I the only one seeing a problem with this?
Again, I am not saying that entertainment in and of itself is bad. But if entertainment becomes a source of comfort from albeit an uncomfortable reality and ultimately your treasure, then you should be concerned. In our day, entertainment has become the opiate of the people, the number one drug of choice for millions of Americans. To think of how many billions of dollars are spent each year to keep us entertained is staggering and the amount increases every year. Entertainment distracts from real life, and the sad truth is we love it and are paying billions to keep it that way.
The need for an escape and to find the temporal pleasures in entertainment never ultimately brings complete satisfaction. They always leave you wanting more. And as the world keeps spinning, you will find that more and more of your energy is devoted to fulfilling that need. However in the Scriptures, God places an offer to you that is far beyond comparison. In Psalm 34:8 we see the invitation “Oh taste and see that the LORD is good…” This summons to taste and see, is meant to reveal the goodness of God. It is aimed at conveying the amazing truth that a relationship with God, is by far sweeter and more satisfying than anything that this world has to offer.
At our deepest core, you could say that we are a thirsty people. We are constantly clamoring for the next thing that will satisfy the deep cavern of our souls. Whether it is sports, media, Facebook, whatever it is, our natural disposition is to waver and to manipulate to drink from those fountains. When those fountains dry up or disappoint, then we move onto the next, hoping to find lasting contentment. The problem is those fountains overpromise and under-deliver. This doesn’t only apply to our entertainment driven culture. Think about individuals who move from one relationship to the next, or from one job to the next, or even from one church to the next. That instability comes from a thirsty heart who has hopelessly pursued satisfaction and yet found none.
Contrary to what entertainment offers, Jesus doesn’t offer an escape from reality. He offers something much better. He says “whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never be thirsty again” and this water He offers “will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”(Jn. 4:14). Jesus offers a real source of deep contentment and one that will never dry up or disappoint. This spring of water is constantly offering up refreshment in and through your life regardless of the circumstances. Those of you who have drunk from this well, know exactly what I am talking about, others who are thirsty and have yet to taste, Jesus says “come have a drink.”