Are You Spending Your Life on Trivial Pursuits?
A third century Church Father once said that the devil majored in three things: noise, hurry, and crowds. The older I get, the more I think the Desert Father was right. The enemy seeks to fill our lives with meaningless things (noise) so we don’t hear the truth of the Gospel. He works to keep us busy and entertained (hurry) if we happen to embrace the truth of the Gospel so it makes little difference in our lives. He strives to surround us with others who are doing the same thing (our friends, families, co-workers and the like) so that we don’t consistently live out the truth of the Gospel, never seriously impacting our lives or the lives of those around us.
If ever there was a time in the history of the world where it’s easy to give oneself to meaningless things, it is now. There are so many options, aren’t there? Between Cityville, Castleville, Farmville, perusing Facebook, or tweeting about the mundane things of life, as if anyone cares (I still haven’t found anyone who actually cares that “I’m writing a new article for the blog!”), or spending endless hours on the internet and the like.
What about TV and movies? Do you know how much time we waste sitting in front of a TV? It is startling. Back in the pre-historic 1990’s a study came out which said that the average American, living a normal life span, would spend thirteen (13) years of their entire life (from cradle to the grave) watching TV. Thirteen years in front of the Television! This was before Facebook and the internet craze.
Our average life expectancy in America is around 78 years. This means that most of us will spend about 17% of our lives watching television.
Can you imagine what the study would say if it included these time wasters? In a 2010 survey, researchers discovered that for the first time ever, Americans spend just as much time on the internet as they do watching TV. Take a 16-year-old, who will live to be 78, and they will add almost 5 years of their life on the internet. Bringing the grand total, for the average young person today to almost 18 years of their life spent on TV, internet and social media. That is over 1/5 of their lives! All that trivial stuff just adds up after a while.
Why do we spend so much time engaged in meaningless things? I can understand why those who reject Christ do this. We all want to do something. So we keep ourselves busy and occupied with whatever we can. But the disciples of Christ? When you think about the implications of the Gospel call, it is hard to understand why the followers of Christ could succumb to this way of living. But succumb we do.
I ask myself how much time I would have left over in my day if I packed up the TV’s in my house and put them in storage after each NFL season? If I didn’t do Facebook? If I stopped writing these four meaningless blogs that few people care about? How much time would be left over to volunteer to serve anyway the Lord would direct me? According to these studies, about 7 years of the rest of my life!
When I shared this information with my own children, they exclaimed: “I am not going to invest 1/5 of my life doing that!” I’m trying to figure out how to do the same thing. Perhaps this article will encourage you to reflect on your own life. We do not want to get to the end of our lives and looking back say “I wish I hadn’t wasted so many of the best years of my life on trivial pursuits.”
But will we?
Posted on May 15, 2012, in Christianity, Contemporary Church Culture, The Christian Life and tagged christianity, entertainment, facebook, faith, family, inspiration, John Piper, leadership, Life, news, spirituality. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.