When asked by his disciples who was the greatest in the kingdom of God, Jesus placed a child in their midst (see Matthew 18:1-4). His philosophy is radically different than our standards of achievement, success, and greatness.
“Of all the things Jesus meant when he exhorted his disciples to be childlike, few dare to suggest he wanted them to play more,” says Mark Buchanan in his book, The Rest of God. “But maybe he did. Maybe all the other virtues of childhood—trust, humility, simplicity, innocence, wonder—are not separate from a life of playfulness, but the fruit of it.”
Have these virtues become underdeveloped fruit in my life because I have forgotten how to play? Our sense of playfulness diminishes as adulthood presses in with serious matters. No longer do we laugh just to enjoy the sound. Have you noticed that adults rarely giggle? Perhaps giggling is another virtue we’ve lost.
Play is not easy when you have a day full of responsibilities. Yet I find that I need play to stay mentally and emotionally balanced. “Make time for play at least once a day. Play keeps your attitude childlike, and Jesus recommends this attitude,” is the 9th New Year’s resolution in my list of 10.
I think Windy was on to something when she said to Captain Hook, “You really, really need a mommy.” We need an inner mommy who will let us build forts in the living room with sheets and pillows. There are dragons that must be slain and princesses waiting to be rescued.
When did you last wrestle with your children or take the grandkids out for ice cream? How long has it been since you went skiing or read a novel for the whole day? Has your couch become the great Narnian ship, The Dawn Treader, in recent months? When do you play?
In Him together, Susan Gaddis