From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Americans have a consuming desire for leisure, convenience and fun. It seems we, as a nation, have traded God for gadgets, eternal truth for momentary self-gratification, worshipping false gods of materialism, entertainment and humanism instead of the Creator of all things. The Bible predicted this: “For men will be lovers of themselves … lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:2, 4). We have exchanged the love of family and home for cyber friends and living in constant motion that can keep us from the voice of God that longs to guide and direct our every step.
Some years ago a pastor and his family from the Middle East came to the United States for a visit. Friends sent them on a trip to Disney World. Later, someone asked him, “Did your family enjoy the amusement park?” With tears in his eyes he said, “I walked through the park and prayed. My heart ached for Americans.” Those standing around said, “But Disney World is a happy place—a place of escape even if for a day.” The pastor clasped his hands passionately and said, “No! How can we escape from ourselves? I watched as people ran from pavilion to pavilion, exhausted from standing in long lines, wiping their brows, and scolding their children because they were hot and impatient. When we boarded the monorail that night, babies were crying, children were fussing, and parents were drained and bickering. This was their fun? Oh! America has exhausted its sense of joy.”
While there is nothing wrong with taking time for leisure to rest from our work, we are not to become so preoccupied with its activities that it takes the place of God.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)