This post is actually an article copied from one of my other blog sites, but the subject matter is just as, if not MORE appropriate on this platform:
The study of the origin of words is a fascinating subject; the deeper meaning that comes to light in realizing where or how a word originated can be very enlightening – one such example is the word “amuse”, and, of course, all of it’s extensions and derivatives, i.e. “amused”, “amusing”, “amusement” etc…
The word is actually a composite of “a” and “muse” – placing “a” in front of a word is a common practice for denoting the opposite meaning, so in this case, for example, “amused” means not “mused”.
So what does “muse” mean??
Definition of “muse”:
muse: verb, mused, mus·ing.
verb (used without object)
to think or meditate in silence, as on some subject.
Archaic. to gaze meditatively or wonderingly.
verb (used with object)
to meditate on.
to comment thoughtfully or ruminate upon.
1300–50; Middle English musen to mutter, gaze meditatively on, be astonished < Middle French muser, perhaps ultimately derivative of Medieval Latin mūsum muzzle
Can be confused: mews, muse.
1. cogitate, ruminate, think; dream. 1, 3. ponder, contemplate, deliberate.
This explains why wise men in the past were known as “muses”, a usage which is still known, but not as common any more!!
So, if you’re being amused, or in a state of amusement, you are NOT in a state of serious thought or contemplation. In fact, the opposite is probably true – your mind is in neutral, while you are being amused or entertained – TV, Sports games (whether you are a spectator or participating yourself), or movies, live shows, etc…
Now, none of these pastimes or activities are wrong in themselves; in fact, they are very necessary in moderation and balance, but understanding the deeper meaning of “amuse” helps us to realize, that these days, many of us spend too much time being “amused” and too little time “musing” – thinking and focusing on our priorities, direction, and what really matters to us the most! And this does obviously included activities such as Bible Study, Prayer, Fasting and Meditation in this Higher Calling…
As King David teaches us: “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all thy works; I muse on the work of thy hands.” (Psalm 143:5)
It makes you muse, doesn’t it!?