Saturday, October 15, 2011

Have Fun!

It’s what life is all about! Isn’t it?

NO. No, it is not. A human life is worth so much more than that, is so much more precious than just that. Your life is meant to be filled with deep and beautiful meaning, to have value that is lasting and significant. To squander it all in the transient and trivial is such a perversion!

Your life is supposed to be about love, which in the first place means God giving Himself totally to you, and you giving yourself as fully as you can to your fellow man (and growing in your ability to do so) and your fellow man giving himself as fully as he is able to you, and growing in his ability to love you more, and all of us living together in mutual sacrifice and forgiveness and healing and creativity and growth and glory. Most of all, our lives are supposed to be about becoming godlike, and more than that, about sharing in the living of God’s own Life, both now and forever.

Fun is fine, but to devote ones life to it is definitely, most certainly, not. It makes us shallow, self-indulgent, spoiled brats. It makes us greedy, because more money = more fun = more fulfillment of our supposed meaning in life. It puts us into competition with one another because we feel envious if someone else has more pleasure than we have. It sets us angrily against each other because it’s inevitable we sometimes, whether on purpose or otherwise, interfere in one another’s fun. No, fun as a god is a terrible, ferocious, soul-sucking tyrant.

To avoid falling back into our addiction to fun and/or to wean ourselves away from this tyrant is perhaps the main reason an Orthodox Christian practices certain mild forms of asceticism (or, for a few, not so mild). It has nothing to do with punishing ourselves for our sins (a concept foreign to Orthodox Christianity) and everything to do with freeing and preserving ourselves from this seductive form of destruction.