Entertainment or Entanglement

American football
This morning, I have my Scriptures sitting on the bathroom counter, ready for review, but my mind drifts to last night’s football game. Overtime—and my team loses. W-a-a-a-a-ah!

Our quarterback got injured in game two, and we’re all anxiously waiting for his return. Now mid-game, one of our defensive stars gets knocked out with a concussion. This nail-biter has all the makings of a great victory, but in the end we come up short—close, but no W.

Disappointment, frustration—six losses in a row. Only at the halfway point, our season might be over. Bummer!

My football-loving family, scattered into three states, enjoys texting back and forth during the games. I check mine from last night: “You’ve got to be kidding.” “They’d better not take back that TD.” “That was NOT a push-off.” “Our defense is exhausted.” “Crunch time.” Please, please make it.” “Booooooo, heartbreaker.”

This morning I catch myself getting back into the addictive frenzy, stewing about the game, and thinking about sending out more texts to commiserate with the others who don’t want to wait till next year.

Football is fun, and it’s cheap entertainment, but I easily get entangled in it, giving it more weight than it deserves. I have to put the brakes on before it consumes my day, my week, the whole season—which is half the year. A football game? Really?

There’s no lasting satisfaction with football. You wait for, and hope for, the coveted prize. But even when you win the BIG ONE, it’s not many days before you say, “Just one more.”

Time to recalibrate.

The second Monday of every month our Scripture memory group meets for one hour. We’re each memorizing something different, and we take turns reciting a portion from what we’re currently working on. Nothing compares with this edifying and affirming slice of time.

This morning Helen recited Psalm 130. I’d never paid much attention to this one. A portion here:

“ I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O Israel, put your hope in the Lord…” Psalm 130:5-7

These words wash over me, refresh me, and untangle my heart. I come home and look them up again. I read the words slowly, making them my own. I want to wait for the Lord, and no one else. I want to put my hope in him, and nothing else. I want the Lord to be the only longing in my heart, the only thing my soul waits for.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

11 comments to Entertainment or Entanglement

  • Richie

    So many things consume my time. God’s word tells me my hope and identity are in Christ alone. I am reminded to hold on very loosely to the things of this world, so that when they fall away, I find myself standing firm on the solid foundation that can never be moved, which is Christ, my eternal hope.

    • You’re right Richie. And in his love, he strips things away from us. In the process we see that our faith is genuine—and its a beautiful picture.

  • Amy Calvetti

    My family is in the middle of some estate drama and we are waiting on a response from the estate attorney. There are days I feel my mind start to obsess about the response and what will be next. Psalm 130 is just what I needed. I know God is in control of our lives, and there is no reason, or excuse, for me to obsess over my present family situation. Thank you Lord for your gentle reminder in Janet’s blog today.

    • Hi Amy, Football is just one example of the many things we get entangled with. They distract us from the Lord, they rob our focus and our joy. I’m so glad that Psalm 130 was there for you. I will tell Helen how God is using her while at the same time working in her. That’s how its supposed to work.

  • Michael Freezer

    These things that can one day be entertainment, and the next be a distraction, is the very reason I value remembering scripture. Remembering is my devotion for life. My prayer life, my devotions, and my delight. For ever and ever. Psalm 119:81 My soul languishes for Your salvation , I wait for Your word.

  • Shan

    Dear Janet, Thank you for being so honest! Right now I’m in the middle of downsizing from the home where we raised our children to a 55+ community. Although I’ve been so busy that I have not been able to learn new verses, I can meditate on what has already been committed to memory. When Shirley encouraged us to memorize a Psalm according to our age, I decided to do Ps. 63 quickly before my next birthday. How wonderful to be able to “remember (him) upon my bed, and meditate on (him) in the watches of the night.” (v.6) When my heart and mind are filled with the Psalmist’s prayer, there is no room for anxious thoughts. “O God, you are my God; earnestly I see you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.” (v.1-3) Thank you for sharing Psalm 130. Those verses would also be wonderful for meditation “in the watches of the night.”

    • Hi Shan, There are so many benefits to memorizing, and one of the greatest is being able to meditate on God’s specific words anywhere and anytime. There’s no substitute for that. And I might also add, at any age. Even when our minds begin to fade we will have a storehouse of God’s Word, and we WILL remember some of it. Thank you Shan.

  • Juliana Kelsall

    My comment is not so much about Psalm 130 itself (although it was a blessing to go and read it along with all of these insights and reflections) but rather about how I have been surprised and delighted by how much I enjoy hearing friends in our Scripture memory group recite passages of Scripture. (Our group just got started last July and meets weekly.) Sometimes I close my eyes and just let the words wash over me. Even when I am learning and reciting the same passage, there’s just something that I find unexpectedly wonderful about hearing it in another voice, especially the voice of a friend.

    • I absolutely agree. It’s so refreshing and life-giving. We always leave the group feeling so loved, affirmed, and having been in God’s presence. Amen.

  • Lynette Nobles

    Hey, Juliana, I wonder if your group is new! I live in Southport, but I would love to travel and visit your scripture memory group. I think I could get one going here, but I would love to visit yours to see/hear what it is like. Thanks. Oh, I LOVE the fact that I can refresh my attitude with God’s word – anywhere and anytime!