This week I've been reading The Good and Beautiful Life and one of our first soul training exercises was PLAY. I know I thought that seemed odd too.
Here’s what I've been learning about play… or should I say I've been experiencing as I play. Play is one thing we absolutely cannot control. It unfolds and by its very nature is spontaneous. We take down our defenses and open ourselves up to whatever happens next.
So, how can PLAY be a spiritual practice?
James Bryan Smith (the author of The Good and Beautiful Life) says this:
We play because God is good. Grace is sufficient for us. God wants us to be full of joy, and play is a way to experience the goodness of God and the richness of life.
Play is an act of self-abandonment: we stop taking ourselves so seriously and simply enjoy life. In one sense the kingdom of God is like a playground. Safe within the confines of a play area, with trusting parents overseeing their children, kids are free to slide and spin and climb and enjoy every moment. Because our heavenly Father watches over us, we are free to let go and play.
For me, when I play I trust God. When I play I experience joyful expectation of what might happen next. When I play I stop being so self-aware, let go and enjoy the present.