Last week Rich talked about play as recreation in three parts. I’d encourage you to read Ben’s post on Tuesday for an explanation of what this is. Rich brought out play having three basic functions: (1) play helping us grieve or work out our frustration, which Ben discussed at length in his post, (2) play allowing us to flex our strengths, and (3) play returning us to ourselves. Since Ben discussed the first of these, I’ll take the last two.
The 2nd of these is that play allows us to flex our strengths. Unless you have been blessed with having a job that allows you not only to pay your bills, but do something you love, this may look different. I have a job that “just pays the bills.” It is not what I went to school for. I wanted to be a sports broadcaster, not a collection agent, which is vastly different.
I have learned however to take something I am good at and use it well. Oddly enough, I am good at my job. You may be thinking, well, you are not mean so how can you be good at collections? Let me say, that is a stereotype that I have found is not true. Most collection agents are not mean, money-grubbing, soulless jerks. Most are good conversationalists that will try to help you pay your bills the best you can, in a timely manner. It does however take some effort on your part too to be able to listen to the advice the agent gives and use it well.
This however is not play for me. It is a job. I don’t take my work home. I can’t. Or else I’d probably be angry and bitter. I can say however that my strengths, skills and talents are being leveraged here. I have been given the chance to use these well. It also serves me well in the church I serve at. I listen well. I can give advice if asked. I like to help others. I care for others well being. All of these skills and talents are seen in my job and my service at Smoky Row–just in different ways.
So what are your strengths, talents and gifts? Are you leveraging those to the best of your ability? Are you doing what you love?
These questions then lead us to examine who we are. Play as recreation should point to who we are. If you don’t know who you are, Rich suggested, go play. Find something you enjoy to do and do it. Once you do, you will find out who you are and how you feel about yourself.
How is your soul? How is your spirit? Are you enjoying life? If not, maybe you should play more often. Just a thought. Life should be enjoyable. Play is a needed thing in life. Otherwise, you’ll just get tired and miserable. Play can not only help us identify our strengths it shows us the core of who we really are. And that is a good thing.
So this weekend…go play.