In Defense of the Holiness of Play

Happy summer everyone! I hope you have had a chance to vacation and enjoy these sunny days, or at least what’s left of them. I love being born in July; if you were born in July, I see you. Having a summer birthday is so much fun! Last week, me and two July birthday buddies of mine celebrated by going to Riverfront Park and having some fun. This kind of fun wasn’t your typical birthday routine- it was what I like to call "childlike fun." We fed the ducks, blew bubbles, lit candles, ran through the splash pad, and sang happy birthday to ourselves.  

I wouldn’t have done this a couple of years ago. I was way too serious about life back then, probably due to the trauma I experienced in childhood which made me grow up a bit too fast. In these last couple of years, however, I have found my inner child (or, I should say, she found me). I would describe the inner child as that space inside that gets excited about little things and is in wonder over the ordinary.  

I believe kids are our greatest teachers and I am so impressed with how God is constantly bringing us back into our childlike wonder by giving us the gift of children all around us. Kids teach us and invite us to play.  For a child, play is crucial for development, and, for an adult, play is important in sustaining a healthy life. Dr. Stewart Brown, whose Ted Talk I’ve attached below, says that play is a necessary part of being human and that the opposite of play is not work, it’s depression. 

When is the last time you played? Played not to win or to produce something, but just for the heck of it? I believe that God’s invitation to sabbath is an invitation to play.  It is an invitation to get excited about little things and be in wonder over the ordinary.  If sabbath keeping is difficult for you, maybe try by playing.  Play just for the fun of it and, in doing so, may you connect with your own humanity and discover the wonder that is this life.

View the Ted Talk Here