...it's about who you know.
every day i walk with the LORD it becomes more obvious that He has very little interest in my qualifications as a disciple and quite a bit of interest in my humiliation. though we may understand that there is no hope for righteousness without Him, we will never train the urge to equip our flesh for the ministry out of this human body. with every profession of the deadness of the flesh, we cannot help but add the disclaimer that it is still useful better the corpse. ridiculously, we busy ourselves outfitting this temporal earthen vessel for great works of service even while striving to mortify the flesh.
it is absolutely essential that i understand that there is simply nothing i can do to better this tent. my one and only useful pursuit is clearing out vessel so that it can hold more of His Spirit. so what of learning? what of physical training? what of pursuits of culture and the arts? the vital question is how do such things better equip this vessel to contain more of His Spirit? does the Spirit work more acutely in a body outfitted with knowledge? no indeed, we know that He has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise! so then, at best the pursuit of knowledge simply useless. while time wasted in useless persuits is dangerous enough, we also know that knowledge leads to arrogance and pride renders us useless.
this is certainly not a blanket condemnation on all who seek greater knowledge or on the artists and philosophers of the world. in the hands of God, these things have the potential to add His light and beauty to our world. paul says in his first letter to timothy that bodily exercise does indeed profit a little, and he exhorts timothy to give attention to reading. unfortunately there tends to be only a small buffer between godly pursuit of such things and idolizing them.
the key is not even to find a godly balance between the two but rather to give God permission to be the God of both understanding that whatever we do we do it for the LORD's purpose by His power in His time. it's a lie to say that God still wants you to have fun. it's not about fun, its about wholeness. while certain God-ordained pursuits may be challenging and "fun," this is the blessing not the purpose. this life is too short and our time her too important to waste on anything not directed by God. this is not legalism (though it can certainly devolve into such) but about motivation. the point is not what we do but why or perhaps better, for whom.