Getting What We Want and Liking It

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Living Stones Series: First Published in All Around Old Bridge Publication – June 2017

By Pastor Lloyd Pulley

“All get what they want; they do not always like it.” Aslan, the lion in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, spoke this in reference to Jadis, an evil queen who gained immortality by eating a magical fruit. Many times, we humans get what we want but, in the end, we don’t always like it. We long for that house, or that car, but as soon as we have it, poof! The novelty wears off and buyer’s remorse sets in!

This is especially evident in the area of entertainment. We seek amusement by spending hours a day – by some estimates as many as seven hours a day – in front of the blue glow of our televisions, computers, and smartphones.

Interestingly, the root of term amusement is muse, which means “to think.” A-muse means the opposite of thinking! We want diversions that essentially turn off our brains. Kings of old depended upon the court jester, wine, and music to put their worries out of mind, and today, we essentially are no different. We want to escape with our entertainment, but do we really end up liking what we get?

What would happen if our amusements fortified us while giving us the relaxation we desire? Prior to the advent of glowing blue screens, our entertainment often consisted of well-written books that engaged the mind instead of dulling it. Classics, like The Lord of the Rings or The Chronicles of Narnia for children, brought us to faraway lands and awakened the imagination to a world of fantasy. Our minds were enlightened while they were entertained.

Today, reading classics is a dying art. Instead, much of our entertainment disengages the brain and appeals to our lesser urges. It’s no coincidence that our media outlets are summed up by phrases like “sex sells” and if it “bleeds it leads.”

While such checking out of our brains seems to be what we want, a-musing ourselves often has an unintended effect. Our current methods of entertainment have begun to pull people and in particular, families, in different directions. Teens are in their rooms on their mobile devices, younger children watch channels dedicated only to them, while parents watch their own programming separately. In other words, our amusements not only disengage our intellect, but they also pull us apart.

Sadly, gone are the days when media drew families together. Few recall the era of Roosevelt’s “fireside chats,” when families would gather around the radio for the latest news, or programs like “Little House on the Prairie” and “The Waltons” that were appropriate for all ages. While the lifestyles and modes of dress of these programs may seem archaic now, their themes, like love, faithfulness, honesty, and integrity, are timeless.

Still, there is hope. Recently, one 10-year-old boy and his father came up to me after service at Calvary Chapel, and told me how much they enjoy listening together to The Bridge on 91.9 FM. They love the programming, and mentioned how much they are learning. Above all, I couldn’t help but notice – this father and son are listening to this radio station, together.

The Bridge (www.bridgeradio.org) airs Bible teaching and contemporary Christian music, all day, every day, and has had a potential listening audience of over three million people in NY, NJ, and PA since its launch in 2003. As evidenced by this father and son, families can enjoy The Bridge together, without disengaging their brains.

Amazingly, The Bridge does all this from right here in Old Bridge. In fact, this station in our own town has recently expanded its outreach to include 95.1 FM, broadcasting from New York City near the United Nations Building. With this, The Bridge can potentially reach an additional four million people, as well as 800 language groups, right in the heart of the greatest city in the world! One tiny radio station, broadcasting from our own community, has the potential to engage – not disengage – the hearts and minds of potentially seven million people throughout the region, and is the ONLY FM Christian radio station broadcasting from New York City itself!

To help bring families together even further, each year The Bridge teams up with Calvary Chapel Old Bridge through an annual beach celebration known as Bridgefest. On June 23-24th, some of the finest communicators and musicians heard on The Bridge gather in Ocean Grove, NJ for two days of engaging, family-friendly fun.

On Friday night, June 23rd, we are proud to welcome Grammy-award nominated, Dove-award winning musical artists The Newsboys to center stage. The Newsboys’ platinum-certified hit song, “God’s Not Dead,” is featured in the popular film series by the same name. Aside from the Friday night concert, the entire two days of Bridgefest are packed full with teaching, music, and good, wholesome family fun, with surf clinics, face painting, volleyball, and a youth rally.

The vision for Bridgefest is to bring what goes on, on air, right to the Jersey shore, giving families throughout the region the chance to relax, learn, and come together, all at the same time. Imagine it! Relaxing without the glow of a screen, or the dulling effects of traditional amusements! Getting what we want, AND liking it!

Learn more about Bridgefest at www.bridgefest.org

Aaron Salvato