Children do it naturally. Teens do it clandestinely. Adults do it grudgingly or not at all. How have we lost our way? Somehow, in the important-ness of following the rules, doing it right, getting good grades and earning approval, the play has slipped away. Its absence is wreaking havoc with my joy!
What if things go wrong? What if it doesn’t work out? What if I don’t measure up or I’m not what they want? What if I miss my chance? Oh. My. Goodness. Someone send in the Play Police! Somehow, the gremlins have stolen the fun.
For crying out loud, where has the anticipation gone? You know, the excited feeling in the pit of your stomach that has you smiling for no good reason. The delight that whatever happens, it’s gonna be fun. The impishness that has you looking for the perfect opportunity to shake things up and create a little havoc.
What if playfulness was the #1 item on the agenda? The only non-negotiable in your meeting because it, you knew, was the saving grace for everything else that came down the pike. But you didn’t do it on purpose because that’s the nature of fun; it just breaks out – and illuminates and lifts everything and everyone in the room.
What if God’s measuring stick was joy? He/she who has the most fun wins…
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Children do it naturally, and along the way all that is meant to be, is.
What if by “you are the light of the world” Jesus really meant,”Go, lighten your world?”
Not shine light on dark things. Not draw attention with your sparkle. Not even ‘reflect My light,’ because He knew the day would come when the dark would grow darker and the Christ light would seem dimmer.
What if, ‘you are the light’ didn’t mean we’ve got illumination? What if it meant, go play. Go bring joy. Go and bring the fun with you. The world needs light-ening. It needs the sparkle and glimmer of laughter. It needs hopping and skipping. It needs jump rope and sidewalk chalk. It needs puppies and play things, doll houses and imagination. It needs pure, unadulterated whimsy. It needs all those things we do for no good reason, except the joy.
Have we forgotten how to play?
Have we become so engrossed in figuring things out that we have lost the wonder, the mystery, the magic?
Perhaps our light is not meant to be a bright beacon, but a spark. A lighting of life, a light-ening of life, a load-lifting, effervescence that giggles, then chuckles, then breaks into guffaw. Even in a quiet place, especially in a silent place.That silent and holy night 2000 + years ago certainly was not quiet. That new little tike may have been smiling sweetly for the wise men, but silent, I don’t think so. He was a reason for celebration. Surely, there was wooping and hollering and dancing and singing. Heck, the whole heavenly host would have made a tremendous racket! Peace was not quiet it was a glorious uproar.
No wonder Santa Clause came along so we could have Rudolph and Frosty and jingle our bells in a one horse open sleigh. We need some lightening up! This child that was born is God’s answer to the darkness. That’s all the Light we need. He’s waiting for us to go out and play, and bring the joy with us.
Who in the world would dance and sing and celebrate in times like these? Well us, of course. Joy does that. That’s the child in each of us. Can we all be THIS kid?