Summer is glorious here in British Columbia, and many of us take advantage of this season to enjoy God’s beautiful creation. However, some of us are caught up in our busy lives that hinder us from enjoying times of play and recreation.
One of my seminary professors taught me that play and recreation are spiritual disciplines. I thought that was odd since I usually equate spiritual discipline with practices like reading Scripture, praying, fasting, etc. Sometimes, in the busyness of our lives, we almost feel guilty about playing, but play and recreation are important parts of obeying God’s command to keep the Sabbath.
Ecclesiastes 3:13 says “that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil — this is God's gift to man.” Christians should excel at enjoying life since God has given us life in abundance (John 10:10). When we regularly engage in healthy play and recreation to the glory of God, we are enjoying God’s blessings and acknowledging Him as a good Creator that gives us good things—this is a powerful act of worship.
Moreover, developing a healthy lifestyle of play and recreation leads us to opportunities to participate in God’s mission.
Let me share this example from a book called Everyday Church by Tim Chester and Steve Timmis: “Bill is an American friend of mine. He does not really get football (soccer), rugby, or cricket, but when he watches a game with us he is enthusiastic. He gets pleasure from our pleasure. It is the same with a hundred and one other topics. If Bill finds out you are interested in something, then the next time you meet you will find he has done some research. It is not a technique. It is not faked. He has a godly curiosity and delight in everything, and funny enough, people love having Bill around.”
A godly habit of play and recreation will help us live a compelling, winsome, and missional life unto God’s glory. I encourage you to take advantage of the summer and have fun!