Pause with Pastor Joel – May 29, 2023

I was recently in Minnesota to visit my parents. They happen to have a playground directly across from their house. Needless to say, Maxine loves this fact and we spent a great deal of time at the park while we were on vacation.
From the moment she woke up until the time she went to bed, she wanted to be over there. We made her come inside for meals and bathroom breaks.
It was a lot of fun. Seeing her joy, being invited to play with her – all of that led to a very enjoyable time on vacation.
As I prepared to come back to “real life,” I found myself dreading certain parts of it. Why? Because I was having fun and often day-to-day life isn’t fun.
Why isn’t life more fun? Specifically, I found myself thinking about how seriously we take ourselves in work. In the 1980 horror film The Shining, the writer Jack Torrance writes repeatedly as if possessed, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It’s actually an older proverb borrowed for the movie and it means that we need play in our life.
We need play! I was restored by it. I also found myself thinking, why does work not have to be playful. Why do we take ourselves so seriously?
Especially in church we have a tendency to take ourselves seriously. We are dealing with serious issues, the life of the spirit, but it shouldn’t make us dull because we forget how to play and have fun with God.
I come back from vacation with a renewed desire to be more playful in work and ministry. Sharing the faith we have in Jesus is serious, but should also be seriously fun. It’s meant to have light-hearted moments, humor and playfulness. That’s the way of the Holy Spirit, at least when I experience it.
Let’s have more fun together in ministry!

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