The Comic Con is this week. I have a love/hate affair with it. Although I hate how large and unmanageable the Con, I love that I can see people connected with the comic book industry. I love that I can get a lot of comic books for relatively low prices. I love the times when I can eat a meal alone and read comic books or eat with others and talk about comic books. And I love the comic books themselves. I could literally sit and read comic books for hours. In fact, I think it might be a lot of fun to take a whole day or even a few days and do nothing but read comic books. I wonder what that would feel like. (In fact, I had an idea a couple of years ago: I would spend an entire year reading nothing but comic books and then writing a book about the results.)
So why don’t I? Why don’t I give in? It might be fun. I would enjoy my escape into a world of four-color fantasy. Maybe I will one day. But it won’t be today, and it probably won’t be tomorrow, either. Today and tomorrow I want to write. I want to get this blog done and reach my goal of 175 within the next two weeks. I have 14 days to do 16 blogs. That’s a little more than one a day.
In addition, when reviewing the goals on my 3x5 cards, I don’t see falling into the world of comic books anywhere near those goals. I know I’ve said this before, but unless I can transfer my love of comic books into something that will bless God and others, I don’t want to focus my life on them.
Still, what would it be like, if I completely dedicated my life to my love of comic books? What if I treated everything and everyone else as a distraction? What if that were all there were to my life? What if that were all I read? I know people like that, not just with comic books, but also with sports, music, movies or other forms of entertainment. I came perilously close to being one of them more than once in my life. It had it advantages and it disadvantages.
Here are the advantages of engrossing myself in my hobby:
· I am doing something I want to do.
· I am relaxed most of the time, but especially during the times I am reading my comics.
· I have fun.
· I shut out all the unpleasantness of the rest of the world.
· I avoid responsibilities.
· My life seems simpler.
· I have a very clear objective.
· At some level I am happy and content.
Here are the disadvantages:
· I contribute nothing to the world.
· I help no one.
· I do not grow emotionally or spiritually.
· I do not get any exercise.
· I do not make any money.
· I am not a good parent or friend.
· I miss real life.
· I am not in Purpose.
The Spanish word for hobby is “pasatiempo,” or passing the time. In English the word has been corrupted to pastime, dropping an s. I don’t mind passing the time once in a while. I enjoy relaxing with a stack of comic books and a cup of coffee. Last year, the best part of the Comic Con was not at the convention itself, but when I was alone at my house and able to sit quietly for an hour and just read some of my new comics. It was wonderful. But there has to be more to my life than passing the time.
The time I’ve been given is a gift. The problem is, as I’ve said before, I have no idea how long this gift will last. It could end soon or in 30 years. I need to act as if it will end soon, not to be morbid, but to be wise. If I live as if this were my last day, then if I do have 30 years left, then hopefully most of them will have been used wisely.
In addition, I feel that constantly engrossing myself in a hobby, to the exclusion of all is else, is a cowardly way to live. Life can be frightening and difficult. In fact, there were times when life was frightening and difficult and reading a comic book comforted me. Sleep has also comforted me, but that doesn’t mean I want to spend the rest of my life in bed. Life and its challenges are meant to be faced, not avoided. By living fully and by committing my life to its Purpose, I don’t just face the Enemy; I defeat it. Comic books, for all the heroics presented, can’t usually teach me to do that. Only being in Purpose can. So it’s time to Get Started and Keep Going…and then maybe go back to Comic Con for a while.