BE JOYFUL – NOT SO SERIOUS

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy” (Job 8:21).

As an occupational therapist, Holley Gerth’s mom works with children and “has always been serious about play.“  Holley gives us a glimpse of her childhood in her blog, 4-6-12, entitled, “It’s Okay to Play:

I have a sweet Mama who used to perch on the edge of my bed and tell me stories as I drifted to sleep. One of my favorites was about Dainty Doodlebug.

Spun from my mother’s imagination, the tale shared of a prissy little doodlebug named Dainty who refused to roll up in a ball because she didn’t want to get dirty. One day a bird flies by and Dainty rolls up in a last ditch effort to stay safe. When she does, she finds out how much fun it is after all.

The moral of the story: Don’t be afraid to play. It brings joy to your life and just might save it too.

(Dainty was a smart little bug to realize play can save your life after all).

And author, Dr. Stuart Brown, of “Play: How it Shapes the Brain” says:

What might seem like a frivolous or even childish pursuit is ultimately beneficial. It’s paradoxical that a little bit of “nonproductive” activity can make one enormously more productive and invigorated in other areas of life.

Holley concludes:

When we are kids, play comes easy. We even have a scheduled time for it called recess. But the older we get, the more play seems like a luxury amid more adult responsibilities. But taking time to have a little fun lowers stress, makes us kinder, and can even help prevent heart attacks.

We’ve all got a bit of Dainty Doodlebug within us—a little part of us that says playing will make us feel silly or get us dirty or mess with our plans. But I believe there’s a great big God who’s inviting us not just to work or serve or obey but sometimes simply to play.

What makes you feel like a kid again?  What can you do “just for fun”?   Blowing bubbles with your kids?  Wrestling in the floor with them?  Dancing in the kitchen when no one is looking?  A game of catch with your pet?   Walking barefoot on the cool, green velvet lawn?  Reading a good book?

It is okay to have a little light hearted fun!  Laughter, a gift of God’s goodness, can bring us through some of life’s darkest days.  The joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

The preacher came to call the other day.  He said at my age I should be thinking about the hereafter.  I told him, “Oh, I do that all the time.  No matter where I am—in the parlor, upstairs, in the kitchen, or down in the basement—I ask myself what am I here after?” –Anonymous

2 thoughts on “BE JOYFUL – NOT SO SERIOUS”

  1. I loved this devotion today. When i started helping with Awana a few months ago the first few weeks i watched the kids play before we started and it made me smile. Well i started joining in and just seeing things through their perspective has made me a better person. Those kids challenge me, will not allow me to be grumpy,and are starting to show me how to love unconditionally.Now the kids look for me because they expect Mr Robby to be there ready to hoot and holler and run around with them. I now know what Jesus meant in Matthew 19:14 when he said ” Let the little children come to Me, And do not forbid them; For of such is the kingdom of heaven.” If we could all learn to see through the eyes of a child this world would be a better place. How they accept others, How they love, How they handle adversity, How fast they move on from disappointment. Thank you Ms Ruby for your wonderful devotion today.

    1. And thank you, Robby, for letting that joy flow into the Awana Awards program in yesterday’s service. It was obvious the kids loved it, and the congregation loved it! It was a contagious joy that left everyone feeling lighthearted. You were indeed a catalyst of joy! (See today’s devotion, 2/25).

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