Have you, like Dennis, ever found yourself on one of those rides that are fun but don’t really get you anywhere. I can think of several: the Merry-Go-Round, the Ferris Wheel, the Tilt-A-Whirl or the pony rides at the fair where the ponies are harnessed together and just travel in a circle. Or, in these days, it may be watching reality shows, (that are anything but reality) or gaming on the TV, the computer or a cell phone. All of these can be exciting, tickle our tummies, give us a thrill and a rush of adrenaline. And we may even get the elusive brass ring on one of those trips around on the carousel or reach level 377 on one of the games. I think my husband has about 3 million dollars in play money in his Poker Mafia account right now. If only that were a reality!
Then the ride comes to a stop, and the show or game is over. The excitement begins to fade and we may be left feeling a little dizzy or maybe a little nauseated from the spinning. It was so much fun but soon the thrill is gone and we are off looking for the next fun ride, game or reality show. When it’s all said and done we have had a lot of fun but haven’t actually gotten anywhere.
Now don’t get me wrong, I always loved the thrill of a fun ride as much as the next person and I like a little TV entertainment and a good “Words With Friends” or “Trivia Crack” game. A trip to an amusement park is a lot of fun and I have had many of those trips to parks and fairs that have provided many great family memories. But when we leave we are exhausted and can’t wait to get home and get some rest. Even fun can be exhausting!
The problem begins when we don’t know when to get off the phony pony or realize the brass ring is only a souvenir and not the answer to our future. At some point the park closes and the lights go out and we have to go home. The show is over, we reach the max level and/or the max number of points in the game. But in our own real world, called the game of life, nothing changes. We make no advances where life really matters, we have nothing to show that matters in the game of life which will include eternity.
The problem is when we keep going in circles and never leave the “Amusement Park”. When we become obsessed with always looking for the next exciting ride that will offer us a big thrill or a bigger prize; the next level to be conquer, more points to earn. We find we are still alternating between the merry-go-rounds and the roller coasters in life but without the brass rings, the prizes or the points.
And so what’s a person to do?
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy“. (Maria Edgeworth)
The answer? Balance and all things in moderation!
The Bible makes it clear that God wants us to enjoy life and work hard to have a productive life here and that will extend into eternity.
Are you a little our of balance these days? Maybe it isn’t to much play but maybe it’s to much work?
Are you spending more time with the phony ponies and reaching for the brass rings than striving for the prizes that will last?
The little Dennis cartoon above has given me food for thought and called me to do some evaluating in this area for sure!
How about you?