Muse Rather than Amuse
Wisconsin Badger Football canceled for 2020?!!? What shall I ever do? And what about my favorite fall television shows? I bet COVID-19 ruins those annual fall runs too! Am I destined to be without NCIS with Jethro Gibbs or NCIS LA with Sam Hanna? First we lose Summerfest, then county fairs, then the state fairs, then the Bucks and Brewers with no fans!! What next? No church rummage sales or the annual meat pie supper? Please let me go to Lambeau in 2020!
Sound familiar? How addicted and dependent I have become on being entertained. It’s a sad commentary on modern life in the USA. We are a consumer society and we prioritize all forms of amusement, whether sports, boating, gambling, drinking, drugs, parties; you fill in the blank. Perhaps the one positive outcome from the pandemic is the opportunity to think about life more deeply and creatively. Potentially, we could invest ourselves more fully into addressing the social ills that have become so evident. And maybe we can consider more deeply our relationship with God and one another.
The definition of the word “muse” is “to consider something thoughtfully.” The word “meditate” is a synonym for “muse.” Guess what? If we are preoccupied with filling ourselves with pleasant “amusing” activities and thoughts it is easy to fail to deeply consider and think about the more significant questions and circumstances of life.
Throughout scripture, the people of God spent much time in meditation. Psalm 119:15 says, “I will meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.” Later in the same Psalm we see the value of that meditation upon the ways of God. Verse 105 reads, “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path.” There is power in reading, reflecting and meditating on scripture. The writer of the Psalms, Jesus, Martha and so many more illustrate the power of deep meditation. So, as the options for our amusement diminish with college football or our favorite TV show or other amusement, maybe it’s a good opportunity to reorder priorities of time and thought. At least, it’s something to think about!
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.