Take Time to Play

Ecclesiastes 2:24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God,

Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute of Play and author of Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul said, “I have gathered and analyzed thousands of case studies that I call play histories. I have found that remembering what play is all about and making it part of our daily lives are probably the most important factors in being a fulfilled human being. The ability to play is critical not only to being happy, but also to sustaining social relationships and being a creative, innovative person.” In addition, an on-line article from Psychology Today entitled 5 Reasons You Need to Play More, states that play boosts creativity, helps us think outside the box, improves our health, make us present, and connects us. Play does add much to life and we should take time to play.

It is all too easy for the intensity of our day, the overwhelming list of to do’s, responsibilities, and action items to push out opportunities for enjoyment. Yet, play is important, even at work! Actually Stuart Brown has also said, “There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, (which) is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation.” Yes, there are times we need to be serious and intense, but also times to play and dance. The Bible encourages this balance in life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.

Honestly, this area of play is one I personally struggle with as most of my childhood was surviving the upheaval of an alcoholic family and inheriting a drive to achieve. However, I have learned much from others, especially though those little professors of life in my grandkids, and other children I meet, like the amazing kids in my wife’s kindergarten class. I was with my wife’s class just the other day and play was as important as learning to write, and even in the learning there was an element of play. Play does recharge, rejuvenate, revive, refresh, renew, and regenerate. Many times, play does not just happen, we have to purpose to play, schedule play, and make and take time to play.

The Bible affirms the importance of play.

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot.

Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.

So what would it take to incorporate some good, clean fun into your day? Maybe it’s lunch at a new restaurant. Maybe it’s getting outside for a short walk, starting or picking up that hobby, or connecting with that fun friend. Play could be reading a fun book, watching a favorite show or comedian. Play could be a night out, a walk on the beach, taking in a movie, enjoying your favorite snack or beverage. Yes we need to be careful we do not have fun at the expense of others or have our play be hurtful in any way, but good clean fun is out there. Why not take time to play, even today!!

Church may not be the first place thought of when ‘play’ comes mind. But church should include times of fun and play. I know our church does. If you don’t already have a church where you attend, we would like to invite you to Cypress Church or any of our branch churches. Our website has all the information you would need www.cypresschurch.net.

Seeking to take time to play along with you,

Mike

 

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