We’ve all heard the adage, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” The meaning is obvious. Non-stop work is counterproductive and detrimental. While God certainly calls us to work, He also calls us to play. In fact He designed us that way. And He instituted it at the dawn of Creation.

Genesis 2:2 finds God resting on the seventh day of creation. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for rest does mean “to cease from exertion,” but it also means “to celebrate, to be still.” In the theatre of my mind I see the Father, Son, and Spirit whooping it up in a jubilant dance and perhaps sitting around a campfire savoring the sunset.  

Do you rest? Do you celebrate? Do you play?

Several years ago I took a sabbatical near a river and fell in love with waterfowl. I became enamored with each species’ unique characteristics and had a blast watching their antics. I found myself marveling at God’s creative genius. I found myself resting. And post-sabbatical, I found myself in need of birds!

So I set up a few feeders near our picture window at home. Two years later, I’m still entertained by these feathered masterpieces. Like the way a Black-capped Chickadee zips in for a seed and flits off to a nearby branch to chip away at it, or the way a Nuthatch skitters up and down a vertical branch like a lizard, or the way a Junko wipes its beak back and forth against a tiny branch after a meal, or the way a Red-bellied Woodpecker turns into a contortionist to extract food.

The point isn’t bird-watching – although it’s a great hobby – the point is, what do you regularly do that awakens playfulness and delight within your spirit?

5 Benefits of Play

1. Rest. Engaging in playful recreation brings reprieve to your work-weary mind and body.

2. Rejuvenation. Fun activities stimulate fresh thoughts and positive emotions.

3. Enjoyment. Experiencing pleasure is not ungodly. If it was, God would’ve made food tasteless and the world colorless. By God’s design, interesting pastimes are good for our souls.

4. Equilibrium. If your work-world tends to dwarf the rest of your world – rest and play will bring balance and diminish stress. 

5. Expansion. You’ll think new thoughts, discover increased creativity, and experience more space in your day.

When the disciples returned from a full day of ministry, Jesus didn’t pat them on the back and send them off on their next assignment. He invited them to do the opposite.

“‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” (Mark 6:31)

Come away. Leave busyness behind. Find a quiet place. Experience the ease of leisure. Rest.

Think about it – “All work and no play” wasn’t even Jesus’ way. If anyone could have conjured up the energy to work 24/7, it was Jesus. But He functioned according to the rhythms of heaven – working and resting in keeping with His Father.

“‘All work and no play’ wasn’t even Jesus’ way. Check out Mark 6:31.”

- Lisa Hosler

In the Comment Section below, share the benefits you enjoy from your favorite hobby or non-work activity.

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