For the month of July, the fitting description of the theme of play can be summed up with the old phrase: “All work and no play can make Jack a dull boy.” That was the mantra that was written over and over by Jack Nicholson’s character in the horror film “The Shining”, where the man who was obsessed becomes someone out of character, a type of demon as he loses his focus.
For most of us, this time of uncertainty and feeling of losing control of the events in our own lives make the word ‘play’ seem like a fond memory of a past life. But in all respects, we need to keep in mind that those who know how to play will fare better than most, probably in all aspects of life.
The term play also brings with it fun and carefree times. It is a time where we don’t have to watch clocks and worry about what will happen. We are in another zone, one where there is a focus on fun and lightheartedness. That is where we need to bring our minds as we face many days ahead where there may not be answers to any of our hard questions.
The Bible tells us that there is a time to work, a time to pray, and a time to breathe easily, and they are part of the seasons of our life. They fill the hours in our days. And with each day we should be able to find some fun, as we look at a child, or look at a dog or cat and realize they find the simple ability in life to have fun and make life worth living. They are in the zone where play is free and unconstrained, and we may realize that word-Play- is the best of all four letter words!
Finding that zone, and that space, is something that we need to concentrate on during the days ahead. The term Vacation is one that brings to mind images of oceans and mountains and travel. But that is not the only way we can learn to have fun. When we learn that we can ‘vacate’ by getting away from our own cares of the day, and finding release through play with friends and family, with things we love to do-and just by reaching inside and finding that zone where we can free our minds- then we have had a true vacation.