A FRIDAY MEDITATION – Play dates

God comes to us disguised as our life. Failure to be open to the flow of our life means we miss the opportunities for growth and awakening that life inevitably brings us. ~ David Benner

What a great day.  The sun has been glorious and the sky has been so blue.  Just what my weary self has needed.  Also, today, I had a play date. A play date on a writing day?  Yes.  Writing is not a rule unless I impose it upon myself which I usually do.  It went like this….when my husband got home from a meeting, he had a bunch of errands to run, Friday being his errand day.  But today, he asked if I wanted to tag along, and for some unknown reason, well God probably knows, I said yes.  It didn’t take me long to answer, either, which is rare for an introvert.

First on his list was a haircut, so I got one, too.  Much better, if I do say so, for both of us.  Then a multitude of other errands and lunch, after which, we accomplished a few more.  What kind of a play date is that, perhaps you’re asking, and you should.  Because, it was a change of routine, which is healthy for our souls from time to time.  We were in and out of the car so there was time for walking and time for getting sun on my face which is good for me.  I smiled at other walkers, shoppers, and clerks to see who would smile back and who would look at me like they were wondering what the heck my problem was.  I’m happy to report there were not many of those. We ran into friends.  And my husband and I took time to talk.  Nothing really serious – just talked and laughed.  I had fun and my spirits were and are lifted.  It was that kind of play date.

“Play” is part of my stated personal Rule of Life and I recommend it to those who come to me for spiritual direction if they are getting too serious and are not having fun. I believe that we need times away from our regular routine.  I love the work I do; I have fun doing it, but it’s not a change. I think Jesus was fond of play.  He made extra wine at a wedding, at least once.  He got together with his friends for fish fries, and picnics.  I can see him dancing at parties.  One time, at least, he and his disciples were accused of eating and drinking instead of fasting like John’s disciples and those of the Pharisees. I can hear him laughing.  He took time for that.  Shouldn’t we?

If play is part of my spiritual discipline, why have I not been doing it?  Good question.  I have been so serious about all the things I need to do that I forgot, actually, to have fun.  I forgot to plan times for it. Occasionally, it might spontaneously appear, like today.  I used to garden, but it isn’t so easy for me now since knee surgery.  And camping, although Motel 8 is my idea of camping, or at least a small mountain cabin.  I loved floating on rafts on the lake while looking around at all that God had made, and we, my husband, relatives and friends would laugh like crazy – dinner parties, also.  Love those.  When did I forget to have fun?  Another good question. I might need to make a “fun” list.  Maybe you could use one, too. It’s good for our souls, you know.

“My life flows on in endless song; above earth’s lamentation,
I catch the sweet, though far-off hymn that hails a new creation.
Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?”

~ Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

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