Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Did you have fun?

So I'm driving with my family in the car out to Cooperstown Bible Camp and my wife is talking to her mother on the cell phone. In such confined quarters, I can't help but overhear my wife's part of the conversation, and one of her comments seemed to slap me in the face. She said, "Are you having fun?"

I know that's a common expression we use all the time. We ask our children, "Did you have fun today?" I asked my football players after their scrimmage on Saturday, "Did you have fun?" You probably have asked friends after they returned from a vacation, "Did you have fun?" We use the expression all the time, but the phrase really struck me that day in the car. I wondered, "Is that our primary goal as Americans--fun?"

My deeper question was whether this Epicurean mentality of Americans had consumed the American church. Is the issue of fun the ultimate issue? Do you ever hear parents ask their children, "How was your day? Was your character strengthened?" Or "Did gain some wisdom today?" Or better yet, "Did you glorify God today?" That's not the question we ask, is it? We say, "How was your day? Did you have FUN?"

Hmmm? That really troubled me as we traveled out to Bible camp. It seemed so shallow that we would use 'fun' as a determiner of whether our time had been successful. Shouldn't it be the glory of God as indicated in I Corinthians 10:31? In fact, that was the verse we quoted before supper out at camp that weekend. "Whether, therefore, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God."

We pulled into the camp in time for Christy to catch the last part of the women's Bible Study. When she got back to the camper I asked, "Did you have fun?" No, I actually didn't do that, but she did have something to show me. They had studied Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 which says, "12 I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. 13 That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God." NIV

Well, that sounds like fun might actually be a gift from God. God might actually want us to enjoy life. I think He does, but the danger comes when that becomes our primary goal. If the goal of our activities is merely fun, then we are shallow. But if the goal of our activities is to glorify God and He allows us to have fun in the process, then we have understand the joy of living that He desires for His people.

So maybe a better question to ask our children and each other would be, "Did you have fun glorifying God today?"

What are your thoughts?

1 comment:

  1. good post, good reminder. That reminds me of parenting. WE just want our kids to be happy , but thats not the most glorifying when we really think about it. Thats not what we want from them. We want our kids to know, love and serve our great God. More than likely, they are going to struggle, but like you said Sunday, God is molding us. Usually those down times is when He really is working in us, and we are really stopping to listen, and lean on Him. So, we don't want them to be happy (as hard as that is for us) We want them to serve God and find their true purpose He has for them in their lives!