Many days life is hard and the days are dark. And play often seems the last thing we would want to do. But play is not just a mere luxury. Many times it’s how we fight for joy – defiantly proclaiming God’s goodness in our lives in the face of forces that would seek to steal, kill, and destroy it.
Of course, there’s a time to deal with the somber realities of life. The sun doesn’t shine everyday and this is okay. It’s good to spend time in the soil of melancholy – allowing the sorrow, sadness, and grief of this life to refine us. All the same, this is not giving into despair.
While it’s tempting to let dark days take us out, we must not let the heaviness of a season become a distraction – blinding us to the goodness still available. And this is where play can help us to take an offensive position. Instead of just seeing the difficulties of life, we intentionally pursue, fight for, and protect the good.
For instance this might be playing outside with our kids, celebrating a birthday, or basking in sensual delights even when there’s uncertainty at work, loved ones are hurting, or we’re simply dealing with personal struggles. Whatever it looks like, it’s courageously seeking goodness and joy even in the midst of heartache and pain.
And, in this way, play becomes a type of warfare because we’re refusing to allow evil to take the beauty that’s ours to enjoy. Through our play we’re declaring God’s kingdom of light and life, while actively resisting the spirits of doom and gloom. And without it we’re all too often allowing evil to take advantage of the many difficulties already present in this world.
In the end, allow for somber moments as the occasion requires. And let play remind you of God’s kingdom of light – refusing to allow the hard and dark days of this life to take you out.