Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Time Even for Play

"Get to work! No time to play, there is work at hand to be done!!! " My taskmaster God says to me. "Children play not adults"

These seem to be the words that have played through my mind. As I realized my perception of my Heavenly Father in this context, my heart first cringed and then it sobbed. My heart began to cry and the tears poured from my eyes. I cried because the picture of God I had created was one of a taskmaster that valued work way above enjoyment. In my mind God was always more pleased with us when we were hard at work.

Don't get me wrong, God values work. But He also values our play.

On Sunday nights I am leading a group of women through the study "Making Peace with Your Past" by Tim Sledge. In this book he talks about children who lose their childhood. As I prepared my lesson, I realized that I myself had significantly lost a large part of my childhood. Through this, I lost the ability to enjoy just playing.

The belief (lie) working in my life from my core values was "life is not about having fun, it serious, no playing allowed". As I realized this, my heart was so sad. I have always struggled with this. Letting go and enjoying myself comes few and far between for me. Even enjoying play times with my children has been difficult. It makes sense to me now; I didn't allow myself to enjoy it because in my mind it was wrong and definitely not something that God valued.

As I took this new revelation to God in prayer, I asked him "Tell me your truth Lord. I want to know what your truth is about this." Here's what He told me.

"How then, Sherri, can I not be a God of play when I am a God of love?" "I am love, do you not remember?" "Who am I then?" He asked me.

This was my reply. "You are love. The God, who created me, breathed life into me and loved me enough to save me. The God that waited patiently for me as I ran from you. The God that gently took me in your arms when I returned after much rebellion and many years on my own. The God that has such tender mercy, even when I fail so often to do as you ask. You are gentle, kind and loving. The God that created joy, laughter and singing. The one that sings over me."

"Would it then be safe to say that if I am all these things to you, I would also want you to enjoy the laughter and joy I put in your life?" God asked me.

God spoke this truth into my soul. “I am all the things you spoke of and more. I created you for my pleasure. I take much pleasure in your joy, in your laughter and yes even in your play. I am not the hard taskmaster of your thoughts. I want much for you and that includes happiness in your heart.”

My response could be none other than this.

Oh My Lord,
I want to remember to smile a little brighter. I want to play a little harder and enjoy every minute. I want to breathe a little easier and let myself be. I want to love a whole lot more and give of myself better. Help me play with pure joy in my heart so that those in my life see you a little clearer. I so love you Lord.

Amen

11 comments:

Andy C said...

It is clear to me that God made us to tend to His creation but also to enjoy it. There is a clear message of rest and enjoyment within Scriptures.

We have messed that up with our sin, but when Jesus returns there will be plenty of time for praise, worship and entering into His rest to enjoy a restored kingdom.

Nice post!

nAncY said...

amen.

akaGaGa said...

"These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
(John 15:11)

Beth in NC said...

He says to come to Him as a child, right? Ok, so I want to know what you will do. How will you play? Have you thought of a way to change your life to include play? :o)

Love!
Beth

Sherri Watt said...

Very true Andy, we were made to enjoy His creation.

Thanks Nancy and GaGa!

Beth, So sweet of you to ask. Yes, I have commited to spend some time each day with my last child still at home (he's seven) each day and really focus on having fun with him. I also am praying each morning for my Lord to help me find a playful spirit and a heart of joy no matter what the circumstances each day. Its time for a change in my actions and my spirit.

Hugs!

APRIL LORIER said...

CS Lewis asked if you had told God your secret joys. He pointed out that we only tell our secret joys to our BEST friends. That resonated with me. So I make sure I tell Him (outloud) every time I have joy in my heart. I see cumulous clouds and I say, "Oh, God, You did so good!" I see a tree, and I say, "With all the wonders of your creation, what is man that You are mindful of him?" My kids and grandkids are used to hearing me, now, so they no longer think I'm weird! ha!

Superdork said...

This blog made me smile.

Thank you :)

Billy Coffey said...

These are powerful words for me today. Thank you!

~Mrs Sandy~ said...

This is a great post!!! Yes God wants us to work hard but He also wants us to enjoy all of His creations:) Thanks so much for reminding us that life is not just about work...it's about life and living it to the fullest.
Hugs, Sandy

smilingcow said...

Nice post Sherri!
Sometimes you forget to play due to stress or lack of time, you're totally right.
Wow! I read a lot today. Some inspiring words on this blog and posts, glad to have found it.
I'll keep this in mind: lots of play and love in this world and for me and I'm sure this will be a better place!
Hugs from smilingcow;-)

Omah's Helping Hands said...

Whew! Hallelujah! Yes, God is not all about work and no play. So very good Sherri. If God had intended us to work all the time it would not have been written: "2 And on the seventh day, God ended His work which He had done, and and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made. Genesis 2:2-3
I must say, I do believe He has a wonderful sense of humor, as there have been times I was sure I heard Him laughing, I look up and laugh too. He's gotten me a few times. I love the way He takes us out of the dark and draws us back into the light!