Proverbs 17:22 A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Yes, there is great wisdom in play, laughter, and fun. According to the online article ‘The Importance of Play’ from Parents.com taken from Parents Magazine, “Play is so important in child development that it’s been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.” There have been numerous studies revealing that play, laughter, and fun increase brain activity, helps set patterns for problem solving, is beneficial to our physical and emotional health, releases stress, pushes away depression, builds social ties, and so much more. But play is not just a human right for kids. Adults need play as well. That is one of Dr. Stewart Brown’s encouragements. Dr. Brown actually founded the National Institute for Play in Carmel Valley, California and encouraged people to include play everyday and all through life. In the Washington Post article ‘Why it’s Important for Grown-Ups to go Play’, Dr. Brown explains, “What all play has in common is that it offers a sense of engagement and pleasure, takes the player out of a sense of time and place, and the experience of doing it is more important than the outcome.” The Post article complements the Parents.com article and other related studies encourage us to continue to play all through life. Yes, we all need that healthy balance between work and play, but we can’t forget to do both.
A few weeks ago, we had the joy to take one of our grandsons to Disneyland for a time to play together. It was a blast! We all were having fun riding rides, eating fun foods, laughing at the characters, and enjoying the ‘happiest place on earth!’ I know for me, having been dealing with some stresses, it was a joyful release as the tensions of life melted away with the smiles and laughter of our grandson.
God intended for us to play, laugh, and have fun.
Psalms 118:24 This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
To rejoice is to shout out enthusiastically, like the squeal of delight as kids run to the swings, or the shouts of elation when our sports team makes a great play. Rejoicing is part of play, laughter, and fun. What could you rejoice in today? To be glad is a choice to be cheerful, a choice to brighten up. It’s the choice to find the fun and joy in enjoyable activities. Dr. Brown would say remember what brought you joy as a kid and start there. What’s something you could be glad in? It does not have to be an extensive or expensive vacation. In that Washington Post article, it sighted that soccer pro David Beckham is said to play with Legos to control his stress and former British Prime Minister David Cameron chooses to be glad and decompress by playing the video game Angry Birds!
Life should not be all work or all play. King Solomon of the Bible, known for his wisdom, explained in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 that there will be moments and times in life for both difficulty and delight…
Ecclesiastes 3:4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
These moments don’t always just fall upon us. Sometimes, actually most of the time, we need to choose to dance or play or have fun. What is noticeable as explained in the “Importance of Play’ article is that the time of active play for kids is decreasing. I would say it is for many adults as well. We live in a very stressful, pressure-driven world where we can easily say we have no time to play. Yet, the challenge here is to make time and take time to play, laugh, and have fun. There is some great wisdom in this.
I think church is fun, and I tend to laugh a lot in and around church. Maybe you could, too. If you don’t already have a church you regularly 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 the wisdom of play, laughter, and fun along with you,