Jerusalem, sing and be happy! Israel, shout for joy! Jerusalem, be happy and have fun! [Zephaniah 3:14 (ERV)]
We sometimes take ourselves way too seriously. Our reading is often for the sole purpose of learning or spiritual enlightenment, not simply pleasure. Our walks or runs aren’t for enjoyment but to burn calories and get fit. We feel the need to be intentional about every moment of our lives, but must everything we do have a serious objective? When was the last time you enjoyed your old photos without feeling guilty about not having them sorted or put in albums? When was the last time you took a run and didn’t check your pace or pulse? When was the last time you relished the beauty of your garden without thinking about the weeds that needed to be pulled? Christians, especially, can be a serious, if not a somber, group. “Fun-loving” or “light-hearted” are usually not the first adjectives that come to mind when one hears the word “Christian.”
This has been a brutal winter for many. Some have endured terrible weather, others have suffered from health issues, and yet others have been troubled with financial or family problems. Whether we call it relaxation, enjoyment, or amusement, God’s gift of fun replenishes us. So, today, let’s have some fun. Why not play a silly game, build a snowman or a sandcastle, watch a sunset, have a snowball fight or walk in a nature preserve? Watch an Abbott and Costello movie, read Dr. Seuss, sit in front of a fire and enjoy a cup of cocoa with whipped cream and marshmallows, have a picnic (inside or out), or go to the zoo. Fly a kite, do jigsaw puzzles, go to the dog park and play with your pooch, curl up by the fire with Agatha Christie or Stephen King, or look through old photos, remembering the good times and laughing at the outfits and hair. Whatever you do, enjoy yourself and don’t feel guilty about not being productive. We’re told to “make a joyful noise,” and while having fun won’t bring us joy, I’m not sure we can ever be truly joyful without having a little fun! Fun, like every other good and perfect thing is a gift from God; let’s not forget to have it!
Thank you. Lord, for the gift of fun; never let me forget how to smile and relax. Help me understand the difference between wasting time and having a good time!
But God was always there doing the good things that prove he is real. He gives you rain from heaven and good harvests at the right times. He gives you plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. [Acts 14:17 (ERV)]
The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. (Bertrand Russell)