I went to college and did a Degree as a mature student.
I drove over each week from Bristol to Wales (not a long journey really) to study.
My subject was Community Studies and Play. Yes I have Degree in Play.
It’s easy to think that when we have grown up that we don’t do that anymore. That’s the work of children as someone once called it.
But like the air that we breathe and the food that eat, play is vital for our health and wellbeing.
The more that we live through these times, the more I want others to see the importance of Play in our lives. Stay with me here.
Play is something that we do that is chosen by us, directed by us and inspired by us. It doesn’t necessarily need to produce anything, involve anyone else or have any other result than to engage us.
It might be seen in the sudoku that we do with a cup of tea, the sewing or painting we do, the instrument we play, the online scrabble or chess game we have on our phone, the photos we take.
It might be the zoom quiz, the karaoke game-show you sing along to, the yoga class, the spinning group or the book club you’re in.
The coffee date you normally have with friends, the cinema night at home when you dim the lights and munch popcorn like you’re at the real thing.
The silly joke, the made-up words, the face you pull, the emoji you use that only you and your family know the real meaning of.
Play is vital to our wellbeing. It is vital to our resilience.
Play reconnects us with ourselves when we feel like the world around us has taken a lot.
Play helps us to make sense of what is around us by focussing our mind on something else whilst our head does the thinking.
Play reminds us that we belong to something bigger, we belong to something better.
It gives us hope, strengthens our faith and God loves it when we play for it restores the soul.
It is what we were designed to do and what we have been saved for.
Jesus came to give us life and life in all it abundance (John 10:10)
Zechariah speaks of God’s kingdom involving children playing in the streets (Zechariah 8:4)
There is nothing better than for us to have fun and enjoy ourselves and take pleasure in our work (Ecclesiastes 3:12-13)
I challenge you today to do something playful either with friends of your family or by yourself. Either online or outside or at home.
Choose something that will engage you, bring you peace and joy and love. It can be for a few minutes or take you hours.
And then – when you get the chance – tell people about it in case they need reminding that they need to play and have forgotten how to do it.
Don’t forget to Play (and pray) today…and tell me all your play stories!
Have a good weekend.