Shannon Dittemore

June24th

6 Comments

I like to be entertained. I do.

My first job–if you don’t count folding the church bulletin–was at a lazer tag facility. Birthday parties, tournaments, video games, all-nighters. One of these days, I’ll do a post on the life-altering days of marshaling lazer tag games full of sweaty grown men, shooting their hearts out while the likes of Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” fills the black light arena with techno craziness. Fun stuff.

My second job–if you don’t count the short stint I had at a law firm during college–was at Hollywood Video where I worked my way from customer service, to management, to a Senior VP’s Executive Assistant. It was, by far, one of the best learning experiences of my life. And, I learned way more than I ever wanted to know about the management, perception, and marketing of entertainment.

During both of these jobs, I acted, performing in such shows as “Our Town” and “The Crucible.”

Like I said, I like to be entertained. And, apparently, I like to entertain.

Nowadays, I write. It’s my outlet. My expression, if you will, of the creativity screaming inside me. And I maintain that imaginative characters had better find a way to puncture their soul and let ingenuity run free. Because creativity hates to be trapped. Really, it’s a monster. A viscous, life-sucking beast that will claw up your insides if you don’t find a way to let it out and play.

My guess is that you’ve got a raging creativity monster inside of you as well. Some are smaller than others. Some are fluffy pink things who are satisfied with dissecting the intricacies of handbag construction, and some are slimy reptilian creatures sitting heavily in your gut, refusing to leave you in peace until you hand them a brush and canvas.

I’m a fan of creativity. I’m a fan of entertainment. I’m a fan of using the gifts we’ve been given to enrich the world around us. I like amusement parks and movie theatres. I crave bookshelves and well-written stories. I enjoy fireworks displays and art shows. I’m a sucker for galleries and community playhouses.

Yes, I’ll admit it.

I like eye candy.

Now, go ahead and say it.

Come on…

Let’s all be real.

You like eye candy, too.

It’s okay. I understand. Entirely.

Disclaimer: Candy consumed in mass quantity is a bad thing. And some candy will kill both you and your creative soul. You should stop consuming that kind immediately.

But, I deviate.

My point is this: Creativity, and the appreciation of it, is not a bad thing, but we do not exist to be entertained.

Can I get an “Amen”?

The Christian community is full of creative souls, and I am incredibly grateful. There is nothing more precious than our creativity being used to worship the ultimate king of creativity, the creator Himself. We don’t exist to be entertained by Him. We exist to know Him. To worship Him. To spread His good news–that we were all wretched in our sin and that even in our spiritual deadness, Christ came and was crucified. He died taking the penalty of sin with Him and then three days later, He rose from the dead, conquering death and its hold on humanity forever. That’s why we exist. That’s it. Him.

But oftentimes, this “entertain me” mentality rides the laces of our shoes and lands on the floor of the church. It worms its way up the legs of church-goers until what we have are pews and pews of dissident souls waiting to be entertained. And this, my friends, disturbs me.

I like a rockin’ worship service. Skits while they pass the offering bucket are welcome. And, funny preachers can be endearing. But let me say this: Worshiping God does not require a single instrument. It doesn’t require a cool worship leader or a tattooed drummer (love you Jordan!). It doesn’t require candles in the corner, or prayer stones. To worship God the Father, you don’t need a witty preacher or a Starbucks kiosk in the foyer.

“Then what does worship look like?” you ask.

I give you Romans 12:1: Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

My body. A sacrifice. Holy. Pleasing to God.

Twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the preacher to convince me to come back next week is not a sacrifice. It does not make me holy. And it does not please God. Offering ourselves up to God to be used for His purposes–that’s worship. Doing our darndest to keep ourselves pure and holy before the Lord–that’s worship.

And the mind-boggling part is that when we’re genuinely seeking to be used by God, for His glory and not for our own… When we’re striving for a lifestyle of holiness, God often challenges us to use our creative gifts and abilities to bring honor to Him. To enrich the body. To draw others to His kingdom.

When we choose worship over entertainment, God cracks us open and the giftings He’s placed near to our heart pour out onto others. Our creativity has an outlet. Our God is lifted high.

When entertainment is our goal, we’re often let down. When worship is our goal, we choose humility and allow Christ to lift us up.

It’s almost like He created it that way…

Your creativity in the hands of the creator.

What an amazing thing.

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6 Comments

  • Comment by Paula Bere - Willems — June 24, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    I could not have worded this any better. Amen to that!

  • Comment by Karen — June 24, 2010 @ 5:03 pm

    I love being in his presence…simply being with him….

  • Comment by Colleen — June 24, 2010 @ 7:43 pm

    Excellent post…I will pass this along. Thank you for sharing this, you truly have a gift : )

  • Comment by Lacey — June 25, 2010 @ 10:52 am

    Amen!!!I’ve said it before, but you have such a way with word. This is such a wonderful reminder. It is all about him and not about us. More people need to hear these words; they are amazing! Keep speaking the truth!

  • Comment by Lori Stanley Roeleveld — June 29, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    What you said, Shannon!

  • Comment by Steph — July 14, 2010 @ 12:34 pm

    You hit the nail on the head! Amen & Amen!

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