Monday, September 8, 2014

Why You Need to Play

When did you last play?

When did you last do something just because it was fun?

Do you think of play as something only children do?

We live in a society that prizes accomplishment. That is always pushing us to do more, to climb the ladder, to get to the next level of success. We're told not to waste time, but to maximize every minute we have.

As a result, we feel guilty when we waste time. We feel like we did something wrong when we did something just for the joy it brought us. Even when we take a vacation, we don't feel like we can really shut off work and enjoy a break.

In the midst of this, we've lost an important part of our relationship with God. We're missing something important.

A look at Jesus' life in the gospels shows us that we took time out to enjoy life. We see Him at weddings and parties with His disciples. He went to people's homes for dinner. Yes, Jesus performed miracles or gave challenging messages in those setting, but those don't seem to His primary plan in those situations. Jesus laughed with His friends. He was on earth one a mission, but He stopped to find joy and do things to enjoy them as He went about that mission.

In Philippians 4:4, Paul says, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Romans 12:15 tells us to, "Rejoice with those who rejoice." That means the joy we see Jesus finding is important to us as well.

One of the ways we learn to rejoice is by doing things for fun. By learning to play and to waste time again. If we don't know how to have fun, if we're always focussed on maximizing our productive time, we'll have a hard time rejoicing.

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