What I Saw at the Beach

Aug 03rd 2010

Jake, Josh and I biked down to the beach this evening — yep I’m on vacation, not in State College — and here is what I saw:

  • – A little girl making tiny sandcastles — oblivious to anything more serious than her play.
  • – A father running down a tide-pool and then throwing himself in the water on his belly to land in front of his 3 year old son who laughed with great abandon.
  • – Three families playing bocce ball.
  • – Four groups of people flying kites.
  • – My boys playing lax.
  • – A Father and his daughter shifting through shells.
  • – A Grandfather carrying pails and shovels, telling his young grandson how much he loved digging in the sand with him.
  • – People fishing, riding bikes, walking, and sitting in chairs laughing.

Play.  What I saw was people playing and many, many smiles.

Last weekend at Calvary we talked about making a mark on our marriage and one way to leave a mark on our families is by making play a priority.  (Watch the video here Marriage).  Think about play…about fun and games.  So many times when I go out to play with my kids…like I’ll go across the street to play basketball with Jake & Josh…and seconds into play.. I turn into super-coach… because of course I just want to help them grow and become better basketball players.

But they can only take so much coaching and pretty soon, I start hearing, “Dad can we just play?”   When I put the coach aside and just play… it’s like I’m saying… I just love being with you. It’s not just about making you better.  I just get a kick out of playing with you.

Don’t underestimate the power of play.  When God decided that “sabbath” should be a part of every week, he was setting a whole day aside for play.  It was his way of saying, “It’s not just about making you better.  I just love being with you.  I want to play with you.”  There’s just something about playing together.  When plays with you, it’s like saying you belong.

Play is missing in far too many of our families, far too many of our marriages.  Play is missing from too many of our lives.  We’re so busy making a living that we don’t take time to play and enjoy the live we are making.  You don’t have to go on vacation to play or to appreciate play.

Oh yeah, before we left the beach, while I was cooling off my feet, listening to the waves, I saw the most incredible sunset.  God plays too.