Play: Seizing Delight & Celebrating Joy

Dearly Beloved,

I don't know about you, but this has been a difficult season for me to play or to delight. The physical, financial, social, emotional and spiritual concerns of this time of pandemic, social unrest, racial injustice, and deep partisan division give me more than enough to feel anxious, angry and sad about each and every day. And let's be honest, the anxiety, anger, and grief are real. There is much that is uncertain. Much that is changing. Much that is being lost. Much that is being revealed. And so we are afraid, angry and sad. 

And, as I have been reading and praying and reflecting this week, I am reminded that God calls us also to delight, to joy and indeed to play. Not to deny or ignore the struggle and pain, but to help us get through it. To help us endure. To help us maintain hope and a sense of the world's and God's and indeed our own goodness. 

In Proverbs, Wisdom (or sophia, to use the Greek word) is said to be God's first creation -- before anything else was brought into being, Proverbs tells us that God created Wisdom. And wisdom is the architect who co-created with God and who delighted with God in creation and indeed in humanity. One of yesterday's participants in our Lectio Divina group talked about feeling invited to fall in love again with creation. Even in the midst of a pandemic, global warming and fires, there is much to fall in love with in creation. Even in the midst of such public division and vitriole, there is much to fall in love with in humanity. Even in the midst of trial and tribulation, there is reason to laugh and delight and play. 

If we are to listen to the music of oppressed peoples, the music that rose out of slavery for example, we find that it not only gives voice to deep sorrow and suffering (bringing tears to our eyes as we listen), but also to joy and delight. It invites us not only to lament but to dance, to laugh and to play. 

And so, this week, may you seek delight. May you watch for joy. May you make time to play -- with your pet or your child, your grandchildren, your parents, your sweetheart. May you make time to play in God's creation -- as you hike through the mountains or skip down the sidewalk or dive into a cool lake. May you make time to play at home -- digging your fingers into garden dirt, dancing in the kitchen, singing in the car. 

For God created us not just for struggle and toil but also for delight. 

I [Widsdom] was beside God as an architect.

I was having fun, smiling before God all the time,

frolicking with God's inhabited earth

and delighting in the human race. 

         - Proverbs 8:30-31

May we do the same. 

With love and hope for delight,