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Seeds of the Kingdom

Serious Fun

by Peter Brokaar

Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 198:3, NIV

Who do you think invented fun? It seems fairly obvious that God did, when you think about it. I know it certainly wasn’t Satan! Fun, enjoyment, relaxation, these are all things God brought into our world as part of His good design. I believe the enemy is a lot less creative than God is. The devil seems to merely try and spoil that which God has made. Destroying things, making things worse, does not require a huge amount of imagination. But creating things does.

God designed us with the ability to have fun, so we don’t gain anything at all by acting as if we are too holy, too busy, or too grown up to have a good time. Somewhere along the line, we may have come to equate seriousness and busyness with godliness, but this isn’t quite right. Yes, there are times when we need to work and times for being serious. But we also need times for fun. Just as I delight in seeing my children have a good time, don’t you think God delights in our good times too?

We have probably all seen these nature shows where lion cubs playfight with each other. Apparently, so we are told, this prepares them for hunting when they are adults. Without this playfighting they wouldn’t learn to hunt which would obviously cause their demise. Amazingly, simply playing teaches them valuable life lessons! It seems that, for us human beings too, allowing ourselves to have a good time is part of God’s design for a well-rounded life. We learn things and develop skills we cannot gain through any other method than by having fun.

When we play, we are actually a bit vulnerable. We learn how to just be ourselves, without the usual pretence. Our guard comes down, which means we are more open to receive goodness into our hearts. When we relax, God is able to impart precious spiritual necessities to us. Instead of us trying to improve ourselves, God can bless us when we relax and have fun.

I would almost go as far as to say that it is an important spiritual discipline to allow yourself space and time for some real and (hopefully, needless to say) wholesome enjoyment. What do you really like to do? What makes you feel alive again? Is it walking in the great outdoors, or gardening or cooking or reading or painting?

Whatever it is, I think we need to make sure we carve out time for fun. When we do, I believe the Lord will be close, and at work to restore our wounded, tired souls. Enjoyment brings refreshment and renewed strength.

Jesus made a strong statement when He said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3).

Something children are definitely great at is having fun. Lord, teach us to be more like children and allow for some serious fun.

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

 

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