God made us for work and play

work and play

“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.

About Doug

I have been a writer ever since fifth grade when I won second prize in a “prose and poetry” contest. I am also a Presbyterian pastor, and for several years toward the end of my career I lived and worked in Zürich, Switzerland. I am now retired and live just north of Holland, Michigan, along the lake.

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7 Responses to God made us for work and play

  1. Dee Harris September 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Welcome back Doug. You were missed. Hope you are well rested and “ready to go”!

    • Doug September 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm #


  2. Bruce chapman September 5, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    “All work & no play makes Jack a dull boy…. All play & no work makes him dull…” – a quip from my father’s cache of axiomatic expressions

  3. mike September 5, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    That’s quite a nifty piece of art work at the head of this post – wonder if it was work or play for the artist. Bet it was both.

    The use of a “cross” between the “work” and the “play” instead of an ampersand caught my attention. Subliminal advertising from the Pastor…you are workin’ all the angles Doug!
    Glad your back, too.

    • Doug September 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      Never saw it, Mike – at least not consciously – but thanks for thinking I did!

  4. Barb Keith September 6, 2013 at 9:58 am #

    Here”s a “welcome” from Cape Cod!
    We love visiting with friends and relatives. But….
    We miss First Pres and YOU!
    See you in mid November!
    Barb & Tom Keith

    • Georgia Hamilton September 8, 2013 at 4:58 pm #


      Your blog made me smile! And you didn’t sy this,but little ones often get it more quickly and with more understanding than we grown-ups. Im glad you
      had some playtime too! (believe it or not, even retireess ned playtime