An Infatuation with Vanity (or A Love Affair with Nothing)

October 14, 2009 at 12:15 am (Christian life)

originally posted at www.salembaptistonline.com on wednesday, april 8, 2009
“Vanity of vanities! All is vanity,” says the preacher in Ecclesiastes. Amen and amen. Not that everything is meaningless, but that the things we hold to as valuable, in the end amount to nothing. If we forget to focus not on what is seen but on what is unseen, we too will be drowned by the ocean of vain, meaninglessness that abounds in this world. I was reminded yesterday of the infatuation with meaninglessness that is so prevalent in our culture today. Don’t believe me? It’s funny how there is no talk of recession when it comes to pointless video games, movies, and iphone applications. Yes, that’s right -iphone applications.

It seems there’s a bit of a craze right now to develop the most popular iphone app. And it’s not the useful apps that are big sellers, but the silly ones that are good for a chuckle and that’s about it. Apps like turning your screen into a sloshing beer mug or a koi pond are big sellers. One of the hottest apps fogs your screen up to look like steam condensation (complete with squeaky noises when you wipe your finger on it). I’m not saying you’re a pagan if you download these apps to your iphone or ipod touch, I’m only pointing out that the popularity of these silly “toys” are merely a symptom of a larger problem -an infatuation with meaningless temporal things.

There was once a time when people sought to drown out God’s call to the eternal by socializing with others who wanted to do the same. You’d find them at the bars, the arcade, the theatre, the pool hall, anywhere that entertainment dominated the atmosphere. Now, it is much easier to find solace apart from God in our homes -alone. Well, alone with our gadgets -our radios, tv’s, ipods, home theatres, billiards rooms, and on and on it goes. Any noise-maker we can find to keep God out of our minds. Anything we can find to create our own little world centered around us.

I’ll never forget the first time that I saw the futility of entertaining oneself to death. It was on a cruise on New Year’s Eve. I was surrounded by a mass of people covering their ears to the fact that God was calling them to more -calling them to eternality -to life. Yet they persisted in their temporary pleasures -unknowingly enslaved by them and driving themselves deeper into a life that will be ashes in the life to come.

Again, please don’t hear me saying, “Thou shalt not play video games, go to movies, play pool or date girls who do!” That’s not it at all. I’m merely pointing out that we as Christians have a great danger of slipping off of our in the world straight and narrow road and into the of the world ditch. DON’T SWALLOW THE ENTERTAIN YOURSELF TO THE GRAVE ‘CAUSE THIS IS ALL THEIR IS PILL! See it for what it is. Everything in this world will either be burned or perfectly redeemed in the next world. Invest in the next world. Invest in eternity! Focus on Christ!

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