I watched a news report about animal cloning and the incredible amount of money spent on it. At first I thought that there were a lot better ways for these pet-owners to spend so much money, and then I thought about how I spend my spending money. So I wrote this.
I have two hobbies. Both are constructive, productive, quality hobbies. If I took my hobbies as far as I wanted to (without being obsessive), I could spend $10,000 on my hobbies over my entire lifetime. Should I be doing that? That much money could provide enough drinking water for thousands of people in Sudan, thanks to programs like Dollar for a Drink. Is it right for me to spend it on myself?
This leads to the question, how much time should we spend on playing, and on working? By “working” I mean, being productive so that the results of our labour have long-lasting affects on ourselves and on the people around us. My hobbies don’t really fill that definition. “Work” might not be the right word; I’m only using it in relation to how I often have the choice to spend my time either on my hobbies or on my life passions and probable career (history/politics/philosophy). Just because they are my passions doesn’t mean that it’s not easier to spend my time on my hobbies- my passions are still “work” in a sense, work I enjoy, but still work.
So should my play simply be a means to an end, so that I’m rested enough to go back to work and study efficiently? Or is it all right to give some of my life to play?
The relaxation side of the argument in my head says that humans need relaxation. If we worked 24/7, we’d crash and never get anything done. Spending time with other people, just relaxing, is very important- we can’t spend life in the fast lane. Hobbies are my relaxation. We shouldn’t always be working, after all, God created the 7th day for resting.
I know there is validity in all those arguments. But the “work” side of the argument says that only the 7th day was for resting! Considering that the average lifespan is about 80 years, I have approximately 64 years left to live out my life’s passions, and its terrible stewardship to waste them. The question is, are my hobbies good stewardship of my 64 years?
The ancient Spartans dedicated their whole life to the military, and refused themselves any creature comforts that could reduce their ability to withstand the rigours of war. We can admire their discipline, toughness and dedication, but when it comes to actually wanting to replicate that…
I don’t think God expects us to live up to the Spartans’ extreme lifestyle. There is a place for relaxation and hobbies. What I’m trying to find out is, how much play, is too much play?