Spun from my mother’s imagination, the tale shared of a prissy little doodlebug named Dainty who refused to roll up in a ball because she didn’t want to get dirty. One day a bird flies by and Dainty rolls up in a last ditch effort to stay safe. When she does, she finds out how much fun it is after all.
The moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to play. It brings joy to your life and just might save it too.
My Mom, an occupational therapist who works with children, has always been serious about play. And she’s in good company. Dr. Stuart Brown, author of Play: How it Shapes the Brain says this:
What might seem like a frivolous or even childish pursuit is ultimately beneficial. It’s paradoxical that a little bit of “nonproductive” activity can make one enourmously more productive and invigorated in other areas of life.
When we are kids, play comes easy. We even have a scheduled time for it called recess. But the older we get, the more play seems like a luxury amid more adult responsibilities. But taking time to have a little fun lowers stress, makes us kinder, and can even help prevent heart attacks (Dainty was a smart little bug to realize play can save your life after all).
Jesus encouraged people to have childlike faith. And what is more childlike than play? If nothing else, it makes us forget ourselves for a moment. We’re caught up in life, in wonder, in the people around us. We rediscover JOY.
We all play differently but I believe we each have something we can do to make us feel like kids all over again. What is it for you? Dancing in the living room when no one is watching? A round of wrestling with your kids? A game of catch at the park with your pet? Baking cupcakes for no reason at all?
We’ve all got a bit of Dainty Doodlebug within us–a litle part of us that says playing will make us feel silly or get us dirty or mess with our plans. But I believe there’s a great big God who’s inviting us not just to work or serve or obey but sometimes simply to play.
What’s one way you play?