First Congregational Church Winter Park
Daily Meditation: "The Necessity of Play"
Sunday, August 30, 2020
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.” - 1 Corinthians 13:11
OK, everyone knows we love Disney in our house, and we miss it terribly. Whether it is spending an afternoon catching three fast pass rides after church and grabbing a quick dinner, or spending a week at Bay Lake Tower on a family vacation and living the experience all day and night, we love it. These days, we truly do miss it.
One of the reasons I love it so much is that it puts me back in that psychological space of being a younger version of myself when all there was to do was play. Do you remember what that was like? We used our imaginations, we created places and adventures, a stick could be 27 different things, and we could do it all day and collapse exhausted into our beds at night. Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, said that play is any activity that is purposeless, dissolves ego boundaries, and ultimately brings joy. When was that last time you did something like that?
One of the blessings of being home with the boys is watching them play. Grant you, it isn’t the same kind of play they did when they were little but they still play. Cooper, especially, will play video games standing the whole time, jumping up and down in reaction to what’s happening in the game, laughing...it’s just a joy to watch him.
We are so overburdened with responsibilities, schedules that break us, stresses and worries about nearly everything, and vacation time is still often filled with work. When do we get to play? We need to, you know. God delights in play; in activity that gets rid of our egos and brings about joy. Don’t you think Creation was God at play? Doesn’t God laugh right along with us when we watch little ones come up with all sorts of things in the magic of their own heads as they dress up and become whomever they wish and travel to distant lands?
Growing up and becoming an adult doesn’t have to mean that we literally put an end to what it was like to be a child. We can, and in fact we should, still embody that sense of play and imagination in our adult selves if we want to stay happy and healthy. If we’re over-scheduled, stressed out, short and irritable, maybe we need to cut back on our adult stuff and allow ourselves a little time to play again.
I know I’m more than ready for some Disney time right about now.
Creator God, don’t ever let me be too grown up and get so busy I forget the delight of play.