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Friday, November 1, 2013

The Importance of Creative Play

In your experience, how often is unanswered prayer due to unconfessed sin or a wrong heart attitude toward the Lord or others? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1332).

Creative play is of utmost importance when striving to see others with more than tunnel vision. Today at work, being Halloween, the health and wellness coordinator, Kim, devised an interlude of play for all of us. She painstakingly had prepared an array of fruit in bowls – green and purple grapes, strawberries, mixed fruit, bananas, and oranges. Our task was using a pen to draw on the oranges a jack-o’-lantern face. Using a small knife we were to cut the top off of the orange and remove all of the orange sections with a spoon. Following this we were to cut out a face on the orange and fill the orange with fruit from the bowls. I immediately returned to my childhood – say the third grade – when we would have such fun at play with our fellow students. One gains a perspective and an appreciation for the creativity and spontaneity of one’s fellows that is simply not available within daily ruts of job responsibilities. For example, today I saw a manager to whom I was in a sense somewhat remote and estranged become a creative and fun-filled person in my eyes for the first time. I saw a new employee with whom I had been kind of standoffish because I did not know her very well; undergo a metamorphosis in my eyes as we all delighted in her jack-o’-lantern creation putting in the cutout mouth of her little jack-o’-lantern a purple grape to represent a tongue. The room was filled with spontaneity, trust, creativity, and, yes, simple appreciation.

I cannot help but think of Congress with its deep divisions and animosities. I would love to see them all in a little play session such as this (a joint session of Congress perhaps) getting to know one another and dismantling years of prejudice and calcified ideologies with fun, spontaneity, and fresh insights into the deeply human contribution of fun and creativity each can make. I would love to see them with their guard down and their sense of fun and play transcendent. It could be a Camelot moment of peace and harmony—one calling forth hope and confidence instead of routine and typical despair and cynicism. The games people play would indeed truly become re-creation instead of a plethora of calculation and degradation stultifying in effect to the whole nation. Adult games are too much with us night and day.

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