Monday, December 14, 2009

Taking Time To Play

by Donna L. Watkins

We all need to add more play to our lives. We are told this in Matthew 18:3-4 and in Luke 18:17: "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus is giving us a command here ... a spiritual truth. We are given orders to humble ourselves like a child. Have you ever noticed children have no pride? They can pick their nose, toddle around without clothes on, pass gas with a smile, or vomit all over you with a crowd of people looking on.

Jesus is telling us to do something that is against adult human nature. “Converted” is a Greek word (Strong’s 4762) which is translated "turn." We have to make a radical departure from what is normal to us. This command requires us to submit to Him, rather than obeying our natural wants and desires.

Jesus never defines what He means when He says He wants us to become like children. James at has this list of traits that kids have that are typically lost when they transition to adults.

1. are trusting
2. are teachable
3. look to their parents when they hurt
4. are submissive to authority
5. desire to grow up
6. are brutally honest
7. know the importance of playing
8. love to rest on their parents' shoulders

Humility is certainly a large part of being able to exhibit any of these traits. The one I like to focus on is knowing the importance of playing. We are a nation obsessed with doing. Lists and goals and tasks are required, but so is rest and relaxation. We have to know when to shut down and simply play.

Have you scheduled some time for play lately? What have you been wanting to do and just don't get around to taking the time for it?

This elk calf is such a picture of knowing how to play. He was probably walking through the forest with his mom and siblings and saw this large puddle of water and just couldn't resist jumping around and playing in it. Notice he purposely stirs up the water to get splashed. He's taken time to abandon the search for food and favor and simply plays till his heart is content .... and then wanders back to the family and the order of the day. How delightful!

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