I just returned from a trip to Disney World with part of my wife’s family. We spent a week in hot and humid Florida enjoying one another’s company and four of the parks. There were long days of walking, meeting characters, riding the rides, and enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells. Though I don’t need to go back any time soon, I can genuinely say I had a good time.
My experience of Disney World captured something from several conversations I’ve had recently: distractions. We live in a time and society full of distractions, full of things vying for our attention, devotion, money, and worship. If something new or different is going to take those, then something else in our lives must give them up or lose them.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism begins “What is the chief end of man?” What that question is asking is what do you exist for? Why are you here? The answer is “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.” You and I, men and women, girls and boys, if we have the gift of faith, we’re to use our life, our breath, our work, leisure, and thoughts to glorify and enjoy God.
What does that mean? Back at our creation, God blessed [man and woman] and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground…I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food” (Genesis 1:28-29). In his good pleasure, God had created light, water, sky, ground, plants, stars, planets, galaxies, all animals, birds, and fish—everything! Then he made us. We didn’t make ourselves. We didn’t evolve from a random combination of dust that somehow developed the ability to think and love and have intelligence on its own. God created us for his pleasure and purpose directed to him and to life in his creation.
We get to enjoy God. Having fallen into sin, our enjoyment isn’t perfect, but we now find our joy in the gift of Jesus and his work. We do get to enjoy his creation and the purposes for which we’ve been made. Yet we all can recognize there are things that distract us from loving God as we should, which take our focus off him.
Disney World and so many other parts of everyday life offer things to take hold of our senses, our time, to keep us from becoming too bored. I find myself being distracted regularly—distracted from God! Thankfully, he is patient. He sticks around even when we are distracted from him. Let us, then, honor him, and remember that our chief purpose in life is to glorify and enjoy God forever.
Pastor Dan De Graff
Baldwin Christian Reformed Church