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shut down your amusement parks

When we amuse ourselves, we are seeking distraction, diversion and escape. It is understandable in this time of limited social interactions, stressful news and increased anxiety that we would want to divert our attention and escape for a bit. Southwest Airlines has built an entire ad campaign and special fares around it – the “wanna get away?” fare. Nielsen reports that consumption of media via screens of all kinds is up in every category during covid. 

Yet I think we need to ask the question: is amusement really helping anything? 

My friend and pastor, Robbie Johnson, said in his sermon yesterday, “we need to shut down our amusement parks.” He brought the fire in calling us to meditate on all the right things – to steep in the love and word of God that transforms us, not amuse ourselves with all the things which leave us ultimately empty. 

Robbie was not saying all diversions are wrong or bad. But especially when we find ourselves anxious, bound up, unfruitful or off-track, we need to ask ourselves, “how am I distracting myself instead of going deep with God?” 

In these times it is crucial that we are aware of our consumptions and affections. If we desire to find the life-giving hope of God, are we spending more time with Him – in prayer, reading, meditation and worship – than with our favorite amusement? We will find that when we are distracting ourselves with amusements, we’ll end up empty. But when we are meditating on the God of the universe, we’ll end up full. Let’s live full this week.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Joel

Joel Searby

A healthy and united America is truly possible… and it starts with us. John Kingston draws on wisdom from history, science, faith and culture, along with his own experiences, to offer eight principles for discovering purpose, meaning and true community.

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