When you rake leaves in your yard, is it fun or work? Your answer probably depends on your purpose. Your goal might be to play in the leaves. Or, it might be to make your yard look presentable when you’d rather be doing something more fun.
Children will spend hours raking leaves when they see it as fun. But tell them it’s a chore they have to do, and they’ll spend hours moving slowly and complaining about the job.
Play and rest are related. Play is work you enjoy. If play becomes drudgery, it’s no longer play. Play is relaxing. If play becomes stressful, it’s no longer play. Play is a glimpse of heaven. If play involves sin (missing God’s ideal), it’s no longer play.
Play is important because it allows you to connect with the reason God created you. That’s probably why kids love to play so much. That’s also why forgetting how to play is never a good thing.
If your life is all about work, you’ll see yourself as an object that others use. You lose your value. You believe what you want is irrelevant. With a worldview like this, you become only a shell of a person. You can become so focused on tasks that you no longer feel like a person.
One of my favorite things to do is install insulation in a hot attic. Just kidding! I’ve taken on this task a couple of times and it always triggers the thought, this must be what hell feels like. Isolation from people. Irritation from glass fibers. Extreme heat. Maybe insulating is better as a non-summer activity? I’d rather be raking leaves.
When work becomes the priority in life, you’ll lose touch with your true purpose and you’ll become depressed. That’s because you’re made for more than being a machine. Machines don’t have feelings; they tolerate meaningless
God made you to have fun. He made you to experience joy.
Different people will define “fun” differently. What is work to one, will be play to another. There will even be different times when what was once work is play, or what was once play is work.
Could you be experiencing depression or anxiety because you have a faulty view of life that emphasizes work over play? Maybe you didn’t become this way on purpose, but your life has changed slowly and now you’ve forgotten how to have fun.
Do a quick check of your current lifestyle.
How much of your life is work and how much is fun?
Has your “fun” turned into a chore?
When was the last time you let loose with an all-out belly laugh?
When was the last time you chose to be more extravagant than efficient?
What are you afraid will happen if you pursue more fun in your life?
With the right motivation, your work will honor God, but God also taught His people to have times of celebration and rest. See Luke 15:23-24 and Psalm 118:24.
So this week, will you be intentional about truly playing? Set some time aside for this. Play is the ultimate way to enter God’s rest. You can’t reach God’s purpose for your life without play.