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Thursday, February 12, 2015

Live Like Nobody Else - Take Time To Play

 A number of years ago I asked my wife Pam to do an exercise with me in intentional living.  The question we were answering was “What do you want your kids to remember about you?”  One of the answers I gave was they would remember I loved them sacrificially so they grew up to be spiritually, emotionally, intellectually and physically healthy people.  But I have mostly remembered one of the things Pam wrote down:  “I want them to remember that I played with them.”
Pam's contribution to Crazy Hat Day at
Markham School where she teaches
7th Grade science.  Aggie the dog says,
"Mom Rocks!!"
            Let me be honest here.  I’m not real great at playing with others.  Well – that’s not true.  I’m good at playing with others if I have a chance of winning against them!  And there is a bit of the problem.  I’m just slightly a touch on the Type A personality side of the spectrum (that was sarcasm, in case you didn’t get it).  You know those Type A people – driven, results-oriented overachievers who are never satisfied with the status quo.  Type A people have brought a lot of good to the world, don’t get me wrong.  But they have also left a trail of damaged goods in themselves and others along the path.  A Type A person isn’t likely to become a Type B person who is carefree, happy-go-lucky and go-with-the-flow.  But they can hav
e health and balance in their life and it has a lot to do with the ability to play.
            As I’m reading through the Bible in a year, I was reading Exodus 31:12-17 where Moses gets instructions from God on the Sabbath at the end of a whole bunch of very detailed instructions on how to go about worshipping him.  And God starts it this way:  Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths…”  Above all?  More important than anything else you said?  Why is this so important?
            The Sabbath has its roots in the creation order.  (See Genesis 2:2-3 for the context.)  Genesis tells us God did the work of creation for six days and then on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed. (see Exodus 31:17)  This seventh day was holy, which means set apart and consecrated for God.  When we are practicing holiness in our life, there will be rest and renewal.  It is part of God’s unchanging order of life.
            Here’s the problem in our lives today – we live in a margin-less and boundary-less world.  This means we are constantly driven, constantly connected to the electronic leash of our smartphones, constantly under stress, constantly on the move.  We live a life without Sabbath.  We live a life without the space to play.  We don’t rest and we aren’t getting renewed. 
            Let me be honest again.  I don’t like talking about this subject because I really have a long way to go in my obedience in this area.  I’m learning that taking time to rest is an act of faith, it is saying I’m not bigger than God.  Taking rest is trusting God can get done what needs to be done without me being overworked and overstressed.  Just like giving 10% of my income is trusting God that I can accomplish more with 90% of my income, taking a Sabbath day of rest is trusting God that I can do enough in 6 days.
            Feel free to ask me how I’m doing with my play-life.  And when you do, be prepared for me to ask you the same!  Let’s take time to play.  We’ll be better lovers of God and much more fondly remembered if we do.
Peace and grace,