A friend of mine had a saying once he got from somewhere on “Go Play.” Some people might think that isn’t a serious way of looking at life. The truth is that I think this is the best way of looking at life. I think too often we have made so many things work that we can no longer enjoy them.
Let us go back to the original creation account. Before God created, there was him in a relationshp of love within the Trinity itself. What was going on? Pleasure. Endless pleasure. It is the pleasure that we are invited to join into one day. There was not a necessity on God to create. God does not have to create. He chooses to create. He does not cease to be God by not creating.
Instead, play was going on first. Play is far more serious than work. Work is often done as an obligation in order to meet another goal. Play is done as its own goal. Play is done simply because it is play. Work is often done in our world in order to later enjoy a pleasure. We work so we can pay the bills so that we can have the time for pleasure later on.
The difference comes when our work becomes our pleasure. When we enjoy what we do. It is not done as obligation any more. I believe this also happens when it becomes an adventure. If we take it as something that we have to do rather than something we want to do, we cease to enjoy it.
I was at a wedding rehearsal tonight for a friend where I saw an example of this. I heard someone saying that they didn’t want to get married because it was hard work. The exact opposite is true. Marriage is not so much hard work as it is hard play. It is play because it is done totally out of desire and not done out of obligation.
In fact, we watched the flower girl and the ringbearer playing then and I saw they were acting more like a married couple than any would think. One could easily look at them walking down the aisle 20 years later. They were playing, but that playing is the kind of playing that naturally leads to love.
Indeed, all such love is really play at heart. It is reckless. We often think we should take marriage in a “serious” way. Let us not do that at all! Let us treat something like marriage recklessly! Why? Because this is love and love is not to be safe. Love is risky and dangerous for love is play and is willing to do what it can for its pleasure.
Let us take small things seriously, but let us not take major things seriously for we will cease to enjoy them. One might wonder why we should do this? Will we cease to treat marriage and other such things with respect? The only people who would really say such things though are those who have never seen anyone at play.
Read about the wrestlers in Ancient Greece. They took the wrestling very seriously and the young men were all to be trained in that. If you want a modern example, they are abundant. Watch what risks people will take for pleasure. Watch people who skydive. Think of people who risk death just for pleasure. They take such actions very seriously.
Indeed, if we do not take play in that way, then what is going on with professional sports? Our culture pays a lot to see people play and we value that play greatly. The player does not care so much about safety as he does enjoying the play. In fact, if he cares about safety, one can be sure that he will be a terrible player. The man who will never succeed at love is the one who is never willing to be dangerous in love.
Yes. Play is taken very seriously for play is closer to the nature of God than work is for play is eternal while work had a beginning. Play is to be reckless for it is its own pleasure and it cannot be enjoyed if one is constantly looking over one’s shoulder. Play is reckless abandon.
Thus, maybe we should see our lives as play as well. We are all involved not only in God’s story but God’s game as well. Life is too short to be constantly looking over our shoulder. If we see our lives as play, we can enjoy them more. If we see them as work, we believe we must do X. It is not a privilege. It is then a task. Life is a privilege though. It is a gift, and a gift is not a burden.
My friend has it right. We all need to Go Play. Life is too short to work. Let’s play.