Frankly, I’m dubious about new year’s resolutions. The intent is noble, and we would benefit from some directed change, but do we really need another source of stress, frustration and failure in our already over-burdened lives? If we’re honest, we have a pretty good grasp on what requires transformation. Resolutions are simply the grand gesture I don’t usually bother with. This year, however, I found something truly worthy of focused attention.
I may be loathe to admit it even to myself, but I seem to have become an exceedingly dull dog. I never was the life of the party to begin with, but surely there’s more than simply moving down the tasks of your to-do list! Successful though you may be, there’s a part of you that becomes just plain hide-a-yawn-behind-your-hand bored. Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. Sounds asinine, but I’m daring to put into words what most of us feel at some time or another. Joyous, pleasurable, recreational adventure just for the sheer, salubrious bliss of it has become extinct on my landscape and it’s time to hunt the unicorn.
I’m desperate for simple fun. Where has the zing of the capricious, the random, the surprising gone? My inner child begs to come out and play. Time to dip mental fingers into something unabashedly spontaneous, silly and even (say it!), sensual. Let rash and reckless arise of the shadows and dance on the forehead of intellectual snobbery.
Did you know that the root for the word ‘play’ itself comes from old Dutch (not a culture you’d associate immediately with frivolity) meaning ‘to leap for joy, to dance’? I’m trying to remember the last time I simply rough-housed like a child or frolicked in the elements. When did you last spread-eagle on the fresh-cut grass and breathe in that divine smell? The age when a flower was a completely absorbing study? The first moment you put color to paper and recognized your own mark in the world? Oh, for the days when some cast-off garment could send you into an imaginary ecstasy of tragedy and romance! Remember the power and marvel of discovering team sports?
How does one re-capture ‘play’ as an adult? (Even as you ask the question, you’re already overthinking it). Plenty of suggestions of the X-rated variety on the Internet. Hmmm. This is a problem. I think when you play as an adult, you are articulating a deep and essential longing to tap down again into your authentic self. To reclaim the territory where you feel true: unapologetic, uninhibited and wonder-full. There’s a creative core at our very essence that cannot be denied, and it wars with the adult restrictions we attempt to place on ourselves. Try to silence it and you will end up a miserable wretch.
There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of our God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High. Psalm 46:4
It occurs to me that this imagery captures an essential truth we don’t pay enough attention to. There’s a massive, powerful, life-giving river flowing from the throne of God, and when we’re not tapped into it, we’re not really alive. We’re just jumping through depressing hoops, passing through work that is dull and derivative.
This river is the spirit-to-spirit connection we receive when we are born again. It is the source of our deepest, most profound interactions with both ourselves and the Lord. Running through our very being is a turbo of unquenchable power, beauty and authority. It is our gift from God; life indeed. Tap in, with intent, and shed your melancholy rags of ego and image, posturing and formality. Tap in, and immediately, your inner, primordial artist gallops through the gloom. Tap into joy, piercing and precious. Suddenly, there is meaning and pleasure in the simplest of tasks. Gratitude sings in our subconscious and the plutonium core of our desire ignites once again.
There is a river: the feeling of childlike faith and joy we experience when moments of playfulness overtake us. This is bliss of the Morning Star. Our heart and our flesh are crying out for the matrix where we felt totally secure and adored. What do you want, little one?
I’m planning to do something fun or playful once a week. Rethink adventure. Deliberately build it in. Don’t ask me how, ‘cause I’m still working on it.
Lord, open my eyes, open my heart to the wonder around me. Teach me how to gambol again in ridiculous, unlimited freedom. Unafraid to explore, to question, to color my world.
Girlfriend, lighten up!
And He showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Revelation 22:1
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