Jesus and the Art of Play

Jesus and the Art of Play

God is fun and He is in a good mood. That’s a new idea for me. I did not arrive in adulthood believing life was fun, so it was quite a surprise when I felt Jesus laughing during my prayer time one day. The joy that filled the room was electric and I finally understood the verse, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” There was power in the joy I experienced at that moment.

I discovered that playing brings me closer to God. Learning the Art of Play is an activity He is using to create a childlike heart in me, a heart that trusts and experiences wonder. I discovered the art and science of bubbles as an adult. Someone bought me a Big Bubble set as a gift. Little did they know how fascinating it would be. I think perhaps it was meant as a joke, but it captured me. There is science in bubbles: elasticity, surface tension, chemistry, light, and even geometry. There is art in the colors and the flight and there is wonder in the fun of making and watching them float.

It’s true that I have become childlike in some ways. Healthy ways, I like to think, although you may disagree because as adults we are supposed to be, well, adult-like. I am not saying I abdicate my responsibilities, only that I have found a way to have joy while doing them and also to make more room in my life for intentional play. This new, childlike, heart opens my eyes each day to things that inspire wonder and cause me to experience God everywhere. It encourages me to keep looking for Him in all my living.

This new foundation also led me to a children’s book about living in the kingdom written by Bill Johnson, Mike and Marilyn Seth. As I read Here Comes Heaven!, I got excited over how it explains our place in Christ and I realized I was never taught these things as a child. The basics of how to know God were delivered in pieces that seemed random to me and they were filled with a list of things I either had to do or make sure I did not do. It always felt like work and a heavy burden. This little book, on the other hand, is teaching me how to know God and the power of Jesus’ resurrection and how to live in His spiritual kingdom. Now that is something I have always wanted to know.

I think when we miss out on certain experiences in our childhood, like fun and the joy of our salvation, God uses play to heal us, to show us who He is and that He is joyful and truly good. He told the disciples to let the children come to Him, then explained that for any of us to enter the kingdom we would have to be like children. So today, I encourage you to grab your bubbles and come practice being childlike with me.

Mark 10: 14b-16
Let the little children come to Me, and do not hinder them! For the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. And He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them, and blessed them.

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