I get my money’s worth out of my summers.
There’s soccer on Mondays and Wednesdays, softball on Tuesdays and Thursdays, hiking, mountain biking, and camping. God bless Mandy for letting me keep that crazy schedule. And then there’s family activities—from swimming at the pool and playing at parks to riding our bikes and taking family walks—that keep our summers full of fun in the sun. And I love every minute of it.
Now, that routine might be a bit extreme, but the point I’m trying to illustrate is the importance of recreation. As humans—and I would argue especially as people of faith—it is vital that we take time away from the busyness of work and school and life to simply relax our bodies, refresh our minds, rejuvenate our souls, and enjoy our world.
You see, all recreation is deeply and inherently spiritual. To recreate is to re-create.
When we play…when we rest…when we connect with creation and community…we are participating in the re-creation of the world. Creation was endowed by God with a rhythm—six and one, six and one, six and one—designed for us to beautifully labor as the stewards of creation, but then take time to rest, rejuvenate, and step back to enjoy the wonder of God’s goodness.
We too often don’t operate within the boundaries of this sacred rhythm, however, so the world is not as it was intended to be. Creation is off-kilter. But when we recreate—when we pause from the daily grind and step away from the busyness of life—we allow the world to re-create. When we do what we love, we partner with God in re-creating our world. When we connect with who we love, we are re-creating the world as it was meant to be.
The original covenant God made with his people was a contract of re-creation—where God would bless his people so they would be a blessing to the world—co-creating a new and better existence alongside the Creator. And this co-creating task has not changed. We still bear this awesome responsibility of re-creating the world alongside the Creator, and one way this co-creational process can occur is through simply recreating in ways that lead to refreshment, rejuvenation, and joy.
When we pause from the busyness of life, engage in the lovely and life-giving things of this world, and do so with others, we partner with God in the renewal of all things.
So, spend this summer recreating as a means of re-creation. Have some fun. Do some things you love to do but never make time for. Spend time doing nothing with people who mean everything. Play, be silly, get muddy and wet. Share your dinner table with good friends. Share your life with your neighbors. Take time to rest, rejuvenate, and enjoy our world. And as you re-create your body, mind, and soul, you’ll be partnering with God in re-creating our world.