Daily Fenelon > Amusements


If you keep your heart set on God, innocent amusements are harmless. Being harsh, legalistic, and unbending will reinforce the false idea that serving God means living a dull, gloomy life.

Let the peace and joy of your life in God flow out for all to see. Even the most ordinary things, done in God's presence, are serving Him. God ordains even simple things to be done in His order and for His glory. Don't forget that!

Most people, in trying to please God, expect that God wants them to do difficult or unusual things. God wants you to die to yourself, and live to Him in the everyday events of life. Far more inward, rather than outward, changes need to be made in you if you lived a decent, moral life before your conversion.

God doesn't want your lip service—He wants you to let Him mold your will. Refuse Him nothing. Want nothing but His will. Seek Him during your hours of emptiness, and He will fill you with His grace. Even the most mindless pastimes can be offerings to God when you are expected, by family duty, to engage in them. How free you are when you do all things simply to the glory of God. Let God lead you by the hand without questioning Him. There is nothing simpler or more faithful than learning to accept the will of God apart from your personal taste—your likes and dislikes and impulses. If you live this way you will be easy-going, yet disciplined.

When your pastimes start to distract you from God, return to Him. When you are depressed or tired, bring your troubled spirit to your Father who holds out His arms to you. Look to Him when your emotions go up and down, and He will bring you into balance and never leave you without help. Look to Him, with a silent movement of the heart, and you will find new strength. Even if you feel discouraged. God will still give you strength to do what He expects of you. His strength is your daily bread—His strength is your very life. God does not forget His children. He waits to find your heart open so that He might pour the torrents of His grace out.

Have you ever seen a young child move happily from one place to another? Learn to be like this. Be happy to be tied down or to be free. When you cannot say anything worthwhile, say nothing just as cheerfully. I know that you always want to be occupied with serious matters. But God has not chosen this for you, and His taste is better than yours. It is good to not want to say silly or frivolous things, but God wants to take away the self-righteous satisfaction you feel toward always dealing with "important" matters. So He is going to disappoint you by letting you be involved with less serious situations. You ask how you can keep yourself pure in a lifestyle that is so public, and frankly, so shallow. First, read and pray. I am not being trite or shallow in suggesting this. And I do not mean reading to gain more knowledge. Nothing could be more vain! No, read some great word or deed of Jesus and ponder it in deep silence. Just be aware of the truth, and as your mind wanders away from it, bring yourself back to the present moment without being upset with yourself. You don't know how far this will get you.

Second, when you are free, take entire days just to withdraw and be alone with God. It is at the feet of Jesus that all the wounds of the heart are healed and all the soil of the world is wiped away.

Third, enter into your entertainments only as you are asked to do so. Be friendly, but do not seek out invitations. Those who watch you, at least the reasonable ones, will be happy to see you sociable enough to join them, but careful enough to not always be found entertaining yourself. And I take it for granted that when you do appear at these entertainments, you do so in a godly manner. The world is critical of people who condemn its ways, while living by its rules. This is the way it should be!