And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. ESV Zechariah 8:5
I just finished a wrestling match with my son. It’s thing we have. Nearly every night he asks to wrestle. We don’t do it often, but when we do, it’s fun. Generally I pin him five times and we are done. He has pinned me twice, so I think my record is about 73 and 2 right now. I’m just running up a high count because I know the day is coming that he will begin to even the score. With my daughters, I usually read. Sometimes we go on bike rides. Recently we have been going for runs. I never cease to be amazed at how much my kids love it when I play with them (or at how hard it is to get myself to do that).
Perhaps playing with our kids flows from our spiritual formation. In the verse above, seeing kids playing in the streets is a sign of blessing. Perhaps when I engage in healthy and fun play with my kids, I’m drinking deeply from the blessings God has given me. I often think of spiritual formation as being hard, and on one level I suppose this is. The demands of work (both my “paid” work and the never ending work around the home) often drown out the calls of my kids to play. However, just a few minutes of play brightens their day so much. The other day I jumped in the pool for just ten minutes and let the girls jump off my shoulders. Then I got on the trampoline and did flips with my oldest for literally two minutes. You would have thought I was super dad from their response.
Take the time to play with your kids today. Not only will it make their day, but it will do your spiritual formation good as well. God gave you kids to enjoy. Believe it or not, God wants you to have fun. Put aside the work and play. Enough said.