Monday, March 23, 2015

Play Time

In Him we live and move and have our being...-Acts 17:28
Recently, I’ve been wondering why we don’t play anymore. I can remember as a kid having as much as an hour long recess every day. It wasn’t part of a structured P.E. class. It was something separate. It was just time to run and be free. As soon as our little feet hit the outdoors we were transported into our own imaginative world. Sadly, kids these days don’t get recess, and if they do, it might be fifteen minutes at the most. Then, by the time they become adults, opportunities for play are fewer and farther between with unfortunate consequences.

Think about it. The majority of grownups are stressed, anxious, and irritable. Many are depressed, cautious, and inhibited. Even when they’re invited to be creative and fully present in their bodies, lots of people experience an initial block. Their carefree, spontaneous, childlike side has been squelched for so many years that it’s hard to just cut loose. A lot of adults rely on sex, drugs, or alcohol for their sense of fun and recreation. But that’s not the play time I’m talking about. Those things serve to numb you and make you forget, not make you feel truly alive. I’m talking about making up a fun game completely off the top of your head. I’m talking about running, jumping, flipping over, and  laughing from your soul. I think that’s another reason fitness has become so important to me. In many ways, it feels like a throwback to childhood recess. I can temporarily cast off formalities and responsibilities and be me.


If you’re reading this and realizing you don’t have that in your life, don’t fear. It means you have an invitation to intentionally integrate play into your lifestyle. Resist the urge to view play as trivial or unnecessary. I think striking a balance between work and play grounds us. It inoculates against the intensity of life and reminds us to cherish it and live it to the fullest. So, let’s start playing again and purposefully living by my friend’s favorite tagline: Live. Move. Be.