When Fun Doesn't Fulfill

Have you every felt so weary that all you longed for was just a little bit of fun? Something to distract you from the crushing weight of responsibility? The monotony of daily life? A recent loss?

Our two rescue pups delight in snow. With ears flapping wildly behind, they prance about, nuzzling their noses into the frozen wonderment. They are fully enraptured and momentarily satisfied. 

Why only momentarily satisfied? Because fun doesn't sustain. 

Fun is great fun, but it does little to help us negotiate our pain, sorrow, frustration, or suffering. 

I know this from personal experience. 

It's much easier to ignore a pain through distraction or think time alone will heal than to courageously address it. But that is equivalent to running around in the snow with wild abandonment. Soon you have to come back inside, and yes, the snow won't last.

We may bring the snow inside in an attempt to feed on it, but soon find it only results in brain freeze and the eventual numbing of our souls. 

Why? Because fun isn't designed to fulfill. It only temporarily delights.

 Don't get me wrong! Fun can be a welcome distraction, a necessary diversion, or even a great time of celebration. We all need those moments! 

The danger is when we look to fun for nourishment instead of drawing near to God's throne for the true nourishment our souls long for. 

As we delight in knowing God and being fully known by Him, we experience that true satisfaction, healing, and fulfillment fun can never deliver.

But the problem is fun is so...... well, fun. And distracting. And demanding of our focus. It has an insatiable appetite that devours our affections and demands more and more of our attention -- if we don't keep it in balance. 

And there is the tension. How do we enjoy fun, yet keep that pup in its healthy and rightful place?

 Here are a few things I've personally found helpful: 

  • In the midst of fun, I whisper a quick prayer of thanks to God for it and bring Him into the delight of the moment.
  • I intentionally strive to be "all there" in the moment -- both relishing it yet holding it loosely. 
  • I push aside any thoughts of entitlement and look at the moment of fun as a gift, not a lifeline or an escape route.
  • I say no to the nagging temptation to seek out the next moment of fun, and make a conscious choice to look to the One who is the Giver of all good gifts, not the gift itself.

When I think I'm above being wooed by the face of fun, I remind myself of two simple facts found in Scripture. One is about my gracious Lord; the other is about my own wanton tendency.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.  James 1:17

My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.  Jeremiah 2:13

What have you found helpful against mistaking fun for fulfillment? Any helpful Scripture verse? A deliberate choice you make? Please comment and share with me below!


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