Once, years ago when my son was 4 years old, he told me that Jesus just wanted us to play with Him. At the time, I thought it was cute, it wasn’t until later that I realized how truly profound it is. As a mother, I didn’t always have time to play with my three daughters. I was very busy and they seemed so engaged without me that I didn’t see it as that big of a deal. I know differently now.
My son, who is the only child at home now, asks me to do something with him quite regularly. Sometimes I am too busy, sometimes too distracted, sometimes just plain old not interested in what he wants to do but playing or just hanging out is an essential part of an intimate relationship. It provides an opportunity for bonding that is enriching. Watch a child play and you will know they aren’t thinking about tomorrow, they aren’t dwelling on the past, they are focused on right now.
This past Saturday I spent a day just hanging out with John. I did what he wanted to do. We dribbled basketballs around the neighborhood, we played gin rummy and watched Raiders of the Lost Ark. We played a round of Horse (I lost, as usual) and bathed a few of our puppies and cuddled with them. It was peaceful and relaxing and definitely a great time of bonding. With the exception of the puppy cuddling, none of those are things I would have said let’s do. But he did. I entered into his world on his terms. And found it to be enjoyable.
I think playing with Jesus would be much the same. It requires of me that I be willing to lay down my concerns about tomorrow and my regrets about the past and enter into this present moment. It means I lay down my agenda and enter His world on His terms and discover what interests Him today.
Play is underrated. I used to think, especially now, when I am going through this physically painful time when my chores are largely going undone that giving myself permission to play seems luxurious, maybe even wasteful. But I am learning to see it differently. Jesus wants to hang out with us, to share moments with us, to delight in what is good and right and fun about our life, the life He has given us. To simply enjoy it.
Jesus, I want to enter Your day on Your terms and share the moments with You that have for me. Forgive me for always coming with my agenda, my needs, my wants and help me learn the fine art of hanging out. Teach me to play and laugh and have fun and enjoy my life and my time with You and family. In Your name, I pray. Amen