“God made us for work and play.”
That’s what I told the students at Happyland Day School today.
Every month I speak at the Thursday morning chapel service. It’s an enjoyable part of my work. Well over a hundred children from two year olds through Kindergarten crowd into the church’s third floor chapel. They’re so small they fit two to a seat. And then, after a song and prayer, the school director introduces me. And I’m on.
I usually bring something with me – my hat collection, my baseball bat (which, I realized too late, was kind of scary), my beloved Detroit Tigers jersey. It usually doesn’t take much to get their attention … which I can probably hold for about five seconds. Today I dressed up as though I was headed to the beach with a Tommy Bahama shirt, swimsuit, flip flops, and beach towel. A large tube of sunscreen in my back pocket completed the ensemble.
Now that I think about it, I’m not sure who enjoys these chapel talks more – me or them? But I had a thought I wanted them to hear and remember – namely, that God made us for a purpose. God made us for work and play. (Actually, Genesis tells us that God worked and then rested, but stressing the need for naps didn’t seem like the right message.)
I’m just back from some playtime myself which is why I haven’t posted in a while. After what seemed like many months of work, I enjoyed two weeks at the beach. I rested too, of course, and napped, but the playtime is what I remember. I really needed some unstructured time for reading a novel, playing a board game (I’m not sure I understood the game, but I played it in a fiercely competitive way anyway), seeing a movie at the local theater, and visiting the farmers market where there is some of the most wonderful produce I’ve ever seen.
So, I’m back at work today, if you can call having fun with the children in our pre-school work, and I’m remembering this idea that I have been created for work, yes, but also for play. Without the work, I’m not sure where I would find meaning in my life, but without the play, I’m not sure I’d have the energy to start a busy fall.
Work and play. Life in balance. It’s all good.