Our God is an intentional creator. When he made each of us he made us with a plan, a design, an intention in mind. Our hair was a certain color, our noses a certain shape, and each of our fingers and toes in exact order as he thought fit. Some of us he made with an outgoing, bubbly personality, others he made quiet and reserved. Our height and foot size and metabolism is all part of His making.
You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Not only was God concerned with our physical body, and the personality to fit it, He also took care to create our heart and mind’s inner world. He placed hopes, longings, dreams, and delights within us that are uniquely there for His purposes. Our hopes to see Alaska, our longing to hold a doctorate degree, our dream to perform on broadway, our delight in crafting together words to convey a meaning – these are all intentions of the maker.
In my pursuit of wholeness there are a lot of normal, every day things that I have learned are important and hold meaning. And a lot of them are less than fun. Dishes, cleaning toilets, eating vegetables have never really been my game plan for fun. But these things are vital to creating peace. And a lot of us are very diligent in pursuing them because we know the mess that life will become if we slack off on the housecleaning or forgo our exercise indefinitely.
But what about the things that are … fun? Why are we diligent in pursuing wholeness in the boring tasks and neglect the pursuits that make our heart alive? Do we think it is more admirable to deprive ourselves of the hobbies, pastimes, and amusement that feeds our souls? Perhaps by doing we are missing and broken and people with holes rather than whole people.
Before we get carried away, call in sick to work today and let the dishes overflow the sink in order to pursue our favorite activity, take these two words and store them in your heart: Balance and moderation. Without the these words keeping us in check we will lose our grasp on wholeness and quickly lose sight of peace. It is also important to note the adjustments that must be made according to the season you find yourself in. Finishing school, beginning a new job, or having a new baby may strip you of any extra time to enjoy your hobbies and that can be ok.
With those clauses in mind, it may be time to intentionally explore some of those things that continually get pushed to the back burner, but really make your heart sing. Get your guitar out of the case, pull the easel out of the closet, go to the shelf of excellent literature. Make time for delights, do what makes you happy. The last thing the world needs is a bunch of people that trudge dutifully to their chores and work, void of all spark and life and closing their heart to singing for the sake of important work.
Be filled with the Spirit…Sing and make music in your heart. -Ephesians 4:18-19
I hear you now, wondering how you could possibly find time in your day for one more thing, fun or not. If you’re at all like me, even in the busiest seasons of my life, you might have more time then you think but have fallen into the trap of choosing lazy pleasure over life-giving pleasure. Scrolling through facebook, flipping on the TV for an episode or six, watching youtube videos, and taking quizzes to find out what kind of junk food you are are what fill up the free spaces in your day. Those pockets of time, though short, may not give you enough space to pursue in depth your hobby or activity, but even a little is better than none at all. I may not be able to learn a whole sonata on the piano in these pockets, but I could play through a song that I enjoyed in those five minutes that I instead spent on facebook. You may not be able to redecorate your entire livingroom in the space of a TV episode, but you might be able to frame a photo or make a step in accomplishing one of your Pinterest ideas. These lazy pleasures may the best sacrifice to make in making the life-giving pleasures happen.
The bottom line is this: God made us who we are on purpose for a purpose. The things that delight us are there intentionally. By neglecting them we neglect who God has made us to be. Create space in your days to let yourself do what you love. Have fun and let your heart come alive.