How Often Do You Take Time Out To Play?
How often do you take time out to play? I guess you’re wondering: “What kind of question is this? You’re joking right?” Or are you thinking, “Play?!? Ain’t nobody got time for that?” If so, “Why not?”
STOP!! Before you click the exit button; answer this question: Do people often say, “I was just kidding” to you? Yes? Well the question to this post is especially for you.
And on the contrary; if you’re saying, “Playing is what I do;” this question is for you too. Do me a favor and step into the shoes of those who relate to today’s post’s question. It just might help you empathize with those who rarely or never play. So if you’re playful or play less; the questions are, “How often do you take time to play?” Or “Why don’t you have time to play?”
Is it because, you dismiss playing as unimportant, trivial or being childish?
Some people are so serious most of the time until they rarely realize when someone is joking. They’re just bound and uptight. Is that you? Why? Perhaps it’s because you neglect to slice time out of your day to play. Are you saying, “I’m too busy. Who has time to play?” Maybe that’s why you’re so serious ALL the time.
Your day might be so full of deadlines, reports, appointments, meetings, or conference calls until serious is all you know. You can have so many goals to reach, assignments to carry out, or projects to push forward; until the thought of playing is a foreign concept. Is that you? Can you relate?
There are so many other reasons why you might not play. Maybe…..
- You grew up in an environment where everyone was serious all the time. There was no laughter in your home. Perhaps the man of the house was surly, mean or abusive. Perhaps the lady of the house was cruel, uptight and miserable. Or perhaps you were in a foster care environment. Whatever the situation; laughter and play were alien.
- You’ve been hurt so many times by so many people until you’re guarded. Bad romantic relationships; and low down so-called friends let you down. These toxic experiences caused you to erect a wall around your emotions to avoid becoming vulnerable. Because the mere possibility of being hurt again is frightening.
- You were the class clown in school, and your teachers demeaned you for having such an exuberant sense of humor. You were always in the principal’s office for pulling pranks. The school system ingrained seriousness in your mind and taught you to associate playing with stupidity.
- You only have a select few of people you feel comfortable enough to goof around with? People who you work with are off-limits. Schoolmates are too proud and stressed to play. Co-laborers in the gospel are too competitive: so they’re not an option. And certainly, playing around with strangers is a no go.
So my friends, think about it. Don’t the above reasons speak to something missing? They lead us to another question.
Why do you need to play?
I recently read an article by Michael Hyatt entitled, “We need to play.” In it, he said, “Playing is rejuvenating and stimulates our creativity.” I tend to agree with that statement. It really hit home with me. It speaks to an experience I had.
A male friend of old, and I recently took a three-hour road trip to Ohio. Now before you jump to the wrong conclusion; it was a business trip. We had to take care of something, and were back home by 5:30 that evening. Yet, the trip was very interesting.
We hadn’t spent time together like that in years. At first, the air in the car was very chilly. Maybe it was because we both felt like we were riding with a stranger. Maybe it was because his driving is a bit sub par. You know the type. They drive 75 miles per hour, while riding the tail of the car in front of them. So nerve wrecking. I was too busy praying, and holding the dashboard or door to even think of small talk.
But, he’s talkative and highly intellectual. His thought-provoking conversation peaked my interest, and caused my nervousness to lessen. We talked about politics, life and his profession. As we drew closer to our destination, our serious discussion turned to guarded laughter; as we talked and reminisced.
On our way back to Michigan, the chill in the car’s air had dissipated. We were joking and chuckling; basically catching up; but our guards were still up. Then, during a quiet moment, he started searching his phone while driving. I calmly asked him to stop looking at his phone, and keep his eyes on the highway. He gave me a sarcastic response and kept looking at his phone.
I tried to grab the phone. He said, “We’ve been in the car with each other too long.” We both laughed, and got serious at the same time. We arrived back to my house. He carried my books in; we hugged (not kissed), and he left. What I realized is that, I need to play.
There were several eye openers to that road trip.
- Being a single saved woman or man who loves Jesus doesn’t mean you can’t laugh and play.
- Being around once estranged friends shouldn’t stop you from playing.
- Playing doesn’t stop you from being prayerful and listening to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
- Playing has multiple variables.
- You can play with someone from the opposite sex without it being sexual.
- You can play with fellow Christians without losing your Christianity.
My friends, think about it. Can you see how joy, laughter and play are screaming to break through any of the above scenarios? Even though playing may not change unhappy environments; it can change you in the midst.
Playing can make you realize how laughter is good for you. Playing helps you to dream again. It spark thought and creativity. It helps you to become pliable; and allows God to soften the rigid places in your heart. Playing awakens that wish to love and be loved. Most of all, playing reminds you that it’s not just okay to have fun; but it’s needed. We all should lighten up and play some times.
Well my friends, I have to go. But, thank you for joining me today. I’ll leave you with these questions. How often do you take time out to play? Do you agree that playing is needed?”
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you. We’ll talk soon.
Originally posted 2017-02-28 08:00:12.