April 17, 2016

Refreshed by Fun

During this Eastertide season between Easter and Pentecost, we are looking at how to refresh our souls, which may feel tired after the bustle of the day-to-day, and the preparations for Easter, and the upcoming end of school, too.
I am a grown up. In fact, some might say I’m ‘over the hill’. Gray hairs attest to a life lived for several decades. Along with those years comes the tendency to play less. There doesn’t seem to be time to do fun things anymore. After all, there are emails to answer, events to plan, blogs to write, work to get done… There’s a recent video making the rounds on Facebook saying we should ‘be more dog’. It shows a cat who decides to have more fun in life and play like a dog! (It’s actually an ad by a British cell phone company, but it is still cute.) 

What did you used to do to have fun? Did you play basketball in the street? Maybe you sat on the floor and played with dolls for hours. Was it great fun to ride your bike down a hill without peddling, or go to the zoo? I liked to read, and I also used to like to bake, and ride a horse, and walk in the woods. It can be easy to think we can find entertainment online or on the TV. That shuts us away from a whole world of fun. And FUN recharges our batteries!
We are never really too old to have fun. Perhaps we cannot ride a bike anymore due to physical constraints, but we can find something else that gives us the same enjoyment. Maybe just taking time to get outside and quit looking at the four walls of our office or house would be a start. Perhaps sitting down with one of the new coloring books for grown-ups would be a much needed break. It could be that you could mentor a child by taking them to the zoo or the park and show them the world that is real and not virtual.
I recently read a chapter in When God Whispers your Name by Max Lucado. He possets that Jesus went to the Marriage in Cana to have fun! Lucado suggests that as Christians we just maybe have become too concerned with ‘appearances’ to enjoy having fun. Maybe, as he notes, we need to learn to be children again. “Flirt. Giggle. Dip your cookie in your milk. Take a nap. Say you’re sorry if you hurt someone. Chase a butterfly. Be a child again. Loosen up. Don’t you have some people to hug, rocks to skip, or lips to kiss?...”
Did you ever stop to think that maybe Jesus liked children because they knew how to have fun? I watch my 5-year old granddaughter playing. She is in her own world of make-believe. I am reminded of the many years I spent in my own made up worlds. I could be anything I wanted. As we grow up, we put aside those ‘childish things’. However, I can imagine Jesus playing tag with the children who came to him, or accepting a little girl’s doll to hold.

Are there places to go and fun to do that you haven’t thought of recently? Now is the time to reconnect with Jesus who went to weddings for fun, attended parties with others who enjoyed a good time (even though they were characterized as wine-bibbers and sinners-Matthew 11:19), and welcomed children. Maybe we need to ‘be more dog’ just to have some more fun in life! Jesus had fun and so can we. 

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