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Christians and the “500-thread-count Venti High-Speed Blockbuster with Extra Frosting while I Tweet about It” culture

Somewhere in the afterglow of fireworks, my July 4th thoughts turned to the character of the generations that created, built up and protected our nation. Their dedication and work ethic contrasts with our entertainment-junkie culture like sparklers against a dark summer night. As usual, that led me to a tirade on the connection between pleasure as a top priority and the decline of many great civilizations of the past. This year, though, I’ve been thinking about this entertainment-obsession not in context of our country, but our Kingdom.


Somewhere in the afterglow of fireworks, my July 4th thoughts turned to the character of the generations that created, built up and protected our nation. Their dedication and work ethic contrasts with our entertainment-junkie culture like sparklers against a dark summer night. As usual, that led me to a tirade on the connection between pleasure as a top priority and the decline of many great civilizations of the past. This year, though, I’ve been thinking about this entertainment-obsession not in context of our country, but our Kingdom.

Americans pour their resources into the pursuit of pleasure. Movies, games, toys, luxuries and novelties become necessities (if you doubt it, try telling your family you’re canceling your cable.) We’ve become a “500-thread-count Venti high-speed blockbuster with extra frosting while I tweet about it” culture.

For Christ-followers, the significance is in the insignificance. Just like the rest of the culture, our time, money and emotions are wrapped up in distractions. And seriously, we’ve got better stuff to do.

Now, in full disclosure, I’m being so hard-nosed about this to shock my own system. A week of amusement parks, video games, mindless TV competitions and games has left me unrested, unproductive, unsatisfied. I feel like a 7-year-old at a birthday party where too many cupcakes and too much fruit punch meet too many bounces in the bounce house. When does it end?!?

Whenever I choose. Whenever you choose. When we turn off the TV and go meet a hurting friend. When we turn off the electronics (yes, all of them) and go read a classic. When we choose to serve someone when it isn’t fun or entertaining. When we sit with an elderly neighbor even when it’s boring and her house smells. When we feed the homeless and miss our favorite show. When we stop feeding our mind empty calories and start thinking about our life, our purpose, our world, our God.

Or how about this: when we choose a Bible study because we’ll dig into scripture, not because it’s fun and doesn’t require too much of us. Or when we design church services to help us commune with God and recognize his majesty, rather than give us a few laughs and a few cool tunes while not requiring too much life change.

Yes, we will go through withdrawal. And we may not be able to banter about how the bachelor dumped the next extreme chef on America’s Got Wipeout. But we’ll wake up, and remember what it feels like to live an engaged life, and have the privilege of participating in what God’s doing among the non-zombies. Then the fireworks really begin.

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Laura Singleton

Laura Singleton’s passion is the transformation that happens when women get access to God’s Word and God’s Word gets access to women. She was twenty-five when her life was turned upside down by an encounter with Jesus Christ. With an insatiable thirst for scripture and theology, she soon headed to Dallas Theological Seminary to learn more about Jesus, and left with a Th.M. with an emphasis in Media Arts. She, along with two friends from DTS, travel the nation filming the independent documentary Looking for God in America. She loves speaking and teaching and is the author of Insight for Living Ministry’s Meeting God in Familiar Places and hundreds of ads, which pay the bills. Her big strong hubby Paul is a former combat medic, which is handy since Laura’s almost died twice already. She loves photography, travel and her two pugs.

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