Don’t worry about the rain, just enjoy splashing in the puddles

Published on: 30 Jan 2014

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time. Any fool can do it; there ain’t nothing to it. 

So wrote James Taylor in a simple song which contains an important reminder - life is to be enjoyed! This might not be the whole of the secret, but how easy it is for life to be seen as a problem to be solved rather than a gift to be enjoyed!

At Christ Church our vision is centred on learning to live the life, the life that God has given. I’m learning that part of living life more fully is the rediscovery of ‘play’ in the sense of just doing things for the sheer enjoyment of doing them. My grandchildren (aged three and one) do not have any problem playing! They’ll bounce on the trampoline, dig in the sand -pausing to savour its taste, kick the leaves high and methodically lick all the jam off the sandwich.  However, as we grow up, play feels increasingly irresponsible. How can we justify it when there are so many things still to do, deadlines to meet, responsibilities to fulfil?  

In his provocative book, The Rest of God, Mark Buchanan reflects on how what he calls ‘the god of utility’ can become dominant in our lives so that everything we do we seek to justify on the grounds of its usefulness. And I confess to worshipping that god quite often!  I don’t kick the leaves high, instead I collect them in my wheelie bin and put them out by the gate; I am ready to catch my granddaughter as she bounces and screams - why would I spoil her fun and jump on too? I eat my sandwich nicely and never make a mess. 

Of course we all want to live with purpose and use our time wisely, but what if part of that wisdom were to include the rediscovery of the oft forgotten truth that, ‘God has given us all things richly to enjoy.’ (1 Timothy 6: 17)

This may not mean that we do lots of different things, but we may do some things differently.

 So now when I have a bath, as well as getting washed and scrubbed I’m trying to take a moment to feel the warmth of the water and for 30 seconds breathe a little slower. When I am taking our ‘wild westie’ out into the garden last thing at night, whilst waiting for something to happen  I am looking up at the moon shining through the misty cloud and remembering a special moment in the day that’s passing. And when I’m next taking our grandson out for a walk across Frenchay Common, I might just do as one of our young dads at Christ Church recently admitted to doing, I might just make such a splash in a puddle that both of us get absolutely soaked through!

James Taylor may be right that ‘any fool can do it’ but it takes a certain wisdom to remember.

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