Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mike: Response to Rami's 4-15 Post

Many thanks for introducing the idea of "play!" I agree it provides one way to gather up rhythm, permission, community and idolatry.

Play and formation go together. Think back to childhood. In my own case, many of my private games centered around various roles I might assume when I "grew up." Some were typical of my culture: farmer, truck driver, law officer and the like. Others were atypical: public speaker, writer, astronomer.

Such formation play required me to step outside time, at least time as I normally experienced it. While playing I lived in an intense present moment. Past, future and present more or less became one. I now think the experience provided a taste of eternity.

In addition, I felt free to simply try. Fear of failure and shame, overt concern about long term results, fixation on who might be watching and what they might think, and similiar matters fell away. The fun, something I might even label "joy," sprang from my total engagment.

Sabbath offers something like this to all of us. Jesus once said, "Unless you become as one of these children, you shall not see the kingdom of God." Sabbath may be a way by which adults learn what most of them have forgotten, the practice of play in the presence of God.

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