I work in the greatest place in the world. Really. I’ve worked other places and thought they were pretty amazing at the time – but Elevation Church is really the greatest place in the world to work. And it’s not just because I get to see all God is doing through the generosity of the people in our church first-hand. Though that’s pretty great.
It’s more than that. Expectations are clear. Leaders guide with integrity. We are encouraged to create, dream, and collaborate. Learning and cultivating healthy habits and fun are an integral part of our culture. We have a “game of the month.” We compete in games like air hockey, foursquare, ping pong, and tennis.
You’d think in a place like this, I’d be good at having fun. Everybody else is having a great time.
My report card came in the form of a question from my six-year-old. “Mommy,” he said, “why do you not like to play with me?”
I responded with a pile of excuses as high as my unfolded laundry. I blamed my busy schedule, my dysfunctional upbringing, my unfinished chores. Gah. In my own defense… I play card games. I play chess. I play Legos. We built a snowman together the other day. I do play. But do I like it? Do I look forward to playing with my son or do I think of it as a chore? Well, apparently IF I like it I don’t act much like it.
In his book “Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul,” Dr. Stuart Brown proposes the seven properties of play, and the first one is that it is apparently purposeless. And somewhere along the way of my reaching and striving, I’ve forgotten how to play. To have fun just for the fun of it. I’ll do it if I have to. But it’s the first thing to go if I think I’ve got “too much to do.”
Blah. How self-important am I that I think something will crumble if I spend some time doing nothing but laughing and being silly?
In his new book, “Crash the Chatterbox,” Pastor Steven helps us learn to hear God’s voice above all others. And I’m realizing how many of my habits are based in fear and insecurity. Pastor Steven quotes the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 19:1-3 “Now Elijah was afraid and ran for his life.” Pastor Steven goes on to unpack the story and comes to the conclusion that fear had Elijah running FROM his life.
I want to stop running FROM my life. I want to really enjoy playing with Legos and jumping on the trampoline and whatever else my boys want to do. I know I need to truly value these beautiful gifts God has given me. As my friend Lysa TerKeurst guides in her book, Unglued, I can choose to live in the grace of imperfect progress.
This day, I got to encourage 170 children in Trinidad from God’s word. And I stopped long enough for my talented husband to snap a photo. This is what progress looks like for me. What does it look like for you?