We learn it as children, but then we forgot: The power of play. The joy of taking on roles we can only imagine, of stepping outside ourselves. It is good, of course, that we grow into mature adults—that’s essential for us to become true disciples and not merely believers. But sometimes we “throw the baby out with the bathwater,” so to speak. We need to recover and hold onto that imagination. It is the sheer playfulness and delight of children that is close to God’s plan for us as creatures and which need not be lost to us as adults. It is really the whole point of God’s plan in some way, isn’t it: to restore the lost innocence of the true relationship between creature and Creator? It’s part of the Reign of God proclaimed by Jesus—the Kingdom that is both now (in the Resurrection of Jesus) and not yet (in the final coming of the new heavens and new earth preached by the prophets, by Jesus, by the epistles, and in the Book of Revelation). Only a vigorous religious imagination, inspired by the experience of God and springing from a living practice of faith, can point us to our truest selves. Maybe that’s why we don’t pray as we wish we did, or worship always with the heart we desire, or connect with others in the way that Jesus showed. Maybe we see it all as so much work that can be put off or avoided—thinking like the adults we are. What if instead we saw the life to which we are called as play and the Holy Spirit as our constant playmate? Let’s go out and play in the fields of the Lord! © 2010, Bryan Froehle.
Authors Bryan FroehleRestricted