Leisure Time

Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters where we are diving into the ocean of truth. We’re looking lately at what it means to be a thinking Christian. I’ve spoken on many aspects of this so far and tonight, I’d like to turn and look at the idea of leisure time and how that is to be spent.

To begin with, Christians should have leisure time. Speaking as a married man, I know my wife would be very disappointed if I spent all my time with books. While I do have a booklight for night time reading in case she wants to sleep early and I’m not ready to nod off just yet, I only do that when she’s asleep. Now I can do that throughout the day from time to time such as if she’s playing a game system or on her laptop, but when it comes time for a date, be it a movie or going out to eat, then it’s time for a date and the books go away.

Of course, we also know that it will be a problem if all we have is leisure time, and the rise of technology has helped us in giving us more leisure time, but the problem is that we are not spending it well. We can spend all our time in the pursuit of many other pleasures without spending that time learning the great ideas or enriching our minds, particularly through reading.

If one wants to be a thinking Christian, one will need to spend some time enriching their mind through activities like this. I do have television shows that I like, namely Smallville, but one should not watch too much television. Otherwise, the images on the screen quickly do one’s thinking for them and becomes their imagination.

I recommend that the reader always have a book with them. Waiting in line at the bank or the check-out aisle? Pull out a book and start reading. At a long red light and you know it will be awhile? Get in a paragraph or two. (You could also while driving try audiobooks or podcasts or check out from your local library works like “The Portable Professor” and “Modern Scholar.”)

When it comes time to read, read hard and try to think about what you’ve read. Digest it. This could involve improving your memory, which will be another blog post. Your mind and memory are like any other muscle in your body. If you use them, they will grow stronger. If you do not use them, they will grow weaker.

However, when it comes time to play, Christians should not be opposed. Aquinas himself said in Question 138 of the second part of the second part of the Summa that

In play two things may be considered. On the first place there is the pleasure, and thus inordinate fondness of play is opposed to eutrapelia. Secondly, we may consider the relaxation or rest which is opposed to toil. Accordingly just as it belongs to effeminacy to be unable to endure toilsome things, so too it belongs thereto to desire play or any other relaxation inordinately.

Play is meant to restore us so we can do the work that we ought to do. Thus, I recommend that when it comes time to play, play hard. Don’t think about all the work that has to be done. There is no sin in enjoying yourself. When you get back to work however, work hard. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:31. Whatever you do, do it to the glory of God, including the usage of your leisure time.

Support Deeper Waters on Patreon!