Time to Play: The Gospel According to Narnia and Pixar

"Let the little children come to me. Do not stop them. For it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it."
~Mark 10:14-15 (New Revised Standard Version)

Outside of my office window is the church's playground. When students of our Neighborhood Children's Program are out there, I don't need any other soundtrack for work. They chatter and call as their feet clunk through gravel. It's a marvelous symphony that testifies to life. Their carefree abandon to running, leaping, dancing, and shouting remind us of Jesus' words. We cannot enter into God's riches and abundance until we embrace such energy.

The truth is that many of us adults have forgotten how to play, how to have fun, and how to live into joyful abandon. When was the last time we got on a swing just to swing? Have we jumped off of a diving board at a swimming pool recently? When did we read a book from the children's/youth section of the bookstore or rent an animated movie? Such activities do not have to be childish but childlike. God can use playfulness to make us more receptive to God's revelation.

Recently, I learned how to play again.

For a long time, I have told people that I don't like animated movies or fantasy books. What was my reasoning? Those are for kids; I'm an adult. Apparently there were two things I didn't realize in that loaded response: one is that such genres are for adults as much as children, and the other is that no matter how old we are, we will always be God's kids. This "kid" decided to watch the Pixar film, Cars, and began reading C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia for the first time. I found myself drawn into these worlds where cars and animals talked. I was cheering for the underdog car in the race and was wide-eyed by Aslan the Lion's oration. I was able to forget reality and embrace these wildly creative kingdoms for just a few hours. When I emerged from them, I knew that God had been evident in both of these worlds. I'd laughed, I'd cried, and I'd learned.

This week, take time to play. Whether you venture to Narnia, watch Pixar, go to a playground, or choose another avenue, have some safe fun. And listen for the laughter of God.

all good things to each of you,
Pastor Darian