Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 28 - Does God Play?

               I’m wrestling with this topic as I write it.  It’s not that I struggle with my belief or even with the concept, but rather with how to adequately do it justice.  I’m wrestling with how to talk about God and play without making it trite.  So here goes…

                So for a little background, I believe we have an amazingly awesome God who created the Heavens and the Earth.  Once they were created he sought to fill them with wonderful things including all sorts of plants, animals, natural wonders, and of course people.  He made people to be able to fellowship with him.  He loved them. To truly love you have to have a choice, so God created people with the capacity to choose.  As we know Adam and Eve chose the forbidden fruit and therefore chose to follow their desires instead of the life God had laid out for them.  This is when things got off kilter and a curse was put on the earth.  If you read Genesis 1-3 it lays out the whole story.  It describes the depth of the beauty that God created and describes the fall. 

                When I look around me today, especially at the natural world, I see great beauty and an amazing capacity to enjoy it all.  Yes, things are still messed up. While Jesus came to give people an opportunity to restore our relationship with God, the world itself will not be perfected until the creation of a new Heaven and a new Earth (Isaiah 66:22).  But as I was saying the natural world so beautiful.  I enjoy it immensely.  The beauty in each item is exquisite when I stop to look closely.  I love going on walks with the kids or playing in the yard and discovering something new and wonderful.  When I look closely at something as commonplace as a dandelion I see something gorgeous. Then when I consider the beautiful places to explore, open spaces to run, trees to climb, streams to follow, and lakes to swim, I am blown away.

                All of this points to a God that likes play.  Why else would he create us with our capacity to move, dance, swim, skip, and run?  Why would he create such places to explore if we were not meant to explore them?  Why do we have a desire to explore them? Then I get to thinking, is play an act of worship?  While I’m not an expert, I kind of think it is.  If we’re out enjoying the creation in a way that honors the creation and choosing to recognize the Creator, then I feel like play, especially in the natural environment, can be worshipful. 

                I also watch my children as they dance especially at church.  It’s beautiful.  They dance in response to their desire to interact with God.  It’s their offering.  While they have no formal dance experience, there is a grace and elegance to their dancing that is often not present when they dance at home.  It’s hard to describe, but their bodies at play/dance are worshipping God. 

                So this is what I’m thinking.  God loves us.  He created us with a need for play.  Does this mean that he has a desire to play with us?  When I feel like God is speaking to me I feel a deep inner joy similar to that which of a child who is totally engrossed in play.  Is God waiting for us to acknowledge him in all areas of our life, including our play?  Can we play with God? 

Don't you just want to kayak down this river and stop to climb that tree?

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