Friday, September 18, 2009

An Honest Day's Play

The phrase, "an honest day's work" is one that many of us have heard very often, with the connotation that work is always admirable and honest...and play, well not so much. We have falsely been given the impression that work is good while things that purely for pleasure are indulgent, not totally necessary in our lives. Those who play often are looked at as not serious enough, lazy, unmotivated, undisciplined. We pressure our children to strive for more, barely acknowledging their last accomplishments before pressing on to the next challenge. Our Type-A society leaves little room for out-and-out relaxation or seemingly unproductive play.

Young children know how to play. They don't even think about it, not weighing whether it would be better to reorganize their closet or chase butterflies, not admonishing themselves for playing too much or regretting what they should have gotten more tasks done instead. I believe that children are closest to God among us, because they remember pure joy. They expect that their needs will be met and are therefore able just enjoy the moment. It is not until we burden them with our society's troubles and pressures that they forget.

In Biblical context, Jesus said,
"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 18:3, NIV)

I believe Jesus was telling us to be like children, trust like children, play like give up our worldly/adult ways of worrying, toiling, and needing to be right, to instead finding what makes us joyous and doing it. There is a popular phrase, Find Your Bliss which provides good advice. Until we find our bliss, our joy, our playfulness - until (we) become like little children - we will never be closer to God, will never fully return to Him, will never return to our true and wondrous selves and enjoy heaven. In our worldly/adult world we create hell, not knowing that heaven is in our grasp at all times. We cannot find God/Source through analyzing, debating, or arguing who is right or through jockeying for acceptance through broadcasting our ego-based achievements...We can only find that place by finding our childlike playfulness, revisiting the experience of joy and peace, letting it ripple out from us to others.

Take regular time out for an honest day's play. It is where you will find your bliss and find heaven again.

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