Time to Play
November 4, 2011
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
“It is only in our ‘hours-off’, only in our moments of permitted festivity, that we find an analogy. Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we are placed here to live. But in this world everything is upside down. That which, if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of heaven.” How our earnest world needs to hear that! Perhaps, in addition, not only is ‘play’ the “serious business of heaven” but it is also the melody of grace, the tune in the background to which we are to listen to all the graceful words of the gospel. Perhaps play is itself an indicator of how much we have understood the sheer shock of grace to our middle class sensibilities. Grace, whatever else it may be, is not efficient: it is outrageous, wasteful, and playful. It does not fill us as we deserve, or treat as we should be treated; it takes us by the hand and enjoys us. I wonder whether what was lost after the fall was not just work’s productivity (now there are ‘thorns’) but the fun of work, the joy of work, the spontaneous thrill of creativity. I wonder whether making time for play is as important as making time for work – granted that, nonetheless, this world is ‘upside down’ – and whether church life, religious life, needs to be seasoned not just with salt but garnished with ‘the serious business of heaven’ as well. If the home country (heaven) is characterized by play then the embassy (church) is at least to represent playfulness. And all this reflection spurred by reading again about the economic indicators, and the need for productivity, and the like. Yet, recently deceased as I write, one of the most productive men of recent years (Steve Jobs) produced gadgets and gizmos that were simply fun. In the words of Bono about one of their cover songs, ‘Charles Manson stole this from the Beetles, but we’re stealing it back’: play, let’s steal it back and make it better.]]>
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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