Devotions from James Smith book, The Good and Beautiful Life

 I love James section on PLAY and know I must do more of it and realize it is a spiritual exercise that can teach me about living in the Kingdom of God.  Some people think play is silly but God wants us to be full of joy, and play is a way to experience the goodness of God and the richness of life.  Play cannot be controlled and spontaneity is one of the spiritual benefits of play. We learn to let go and we learn to relax and be open to whatever happens.

Many adults have lost the ability to play.  Thirty pastors were asked what they do in terms of recreation and play and none had anything to write down. If we have children and grandchildren we can do what they do and play. If we once played tennis, racquetball etc get out the equipment and play again. IF we have a favorite hobby like painting, pottery etc do it with a sense of play. Or  we can read a book about something we do not know much about. Sign up for a dance class! Rent a funny movie and laugh until our sides hurt etc. You get the picture.  Play is an act of self-abandonment.   The kingdom of God is like  a playground that is safe and our heavenly father watches over us as we are free to let go and play. At the same time we are training our bodies and souls to live with genuine excitement.   That is what the kingdom of God is all about.