We all need a break from the seriousness, the tragedy, the intense issues we encounter each day. Life has many challenges, but God doesn’t want us to live under the burdens all the time. He wants us to enjoy some of the fun and relaxing things He’s created for us, as a respite from the mundane and/or stressful issues we face every day. Jesus went to the mountains when he needed a break from ministering.
I like to go to the movies. I sit in the dark and let myself go. Nothing gets to me there. It’s too dark to write; I can’t read; there are no animals to feed, no housework or watering to do and I can’t even text on my cell phone! I love it.
God is the one who created us with emotions in the first place. Not just frustration, anger and fear, but happiness, joy, pleasure. I know we’re not to base all of our decisions on what makes us feel good. But we’re not to deny ourselves either. Balance is a good thing.
In Old Testament times there were feasts throughout the year. God was a big part of the feasts. Ecclesiastes 10:16 tells us: “A feast is made for laughter.” God initiated good times, times for people to get together, to laugh, eat, dance and have fun. Proverbs 15:15 says: “He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.”
The original word for “merry” means playful, cheerful, joyful, pleasant and beautiful. The word for “heart” means feelings and intellect. To have playful, pleasant and beautiful feelings or thinking, we need to include some laughter, fun, and relaxation in our busy schedules.
God has a purpose for wanting us to employ our fun-loving emotional side. He tells us in Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.” Fun can help in the healing process. In the Proverbs 17:22 verse, the definition of the word “merry” includes “brightness.” Linda, a friend of ours, tripped on some steps, took a bad fall and was at home recovering. She was spending a lot of time alone. Linda was getting bored and her mind was getting dull, with nothing to inspire her. Her mental processes even seemed to be slowing down.
Jane, my roommate, picked up on this and remembered that Linda always seemed to really enjoy watching baseball. Jane got out the baseball schedule and started calling every day to get Linda set up on the right channel to watch a ball game. The happy emotions kicked in and she looked forward to getting her daily call about a game to watch. Not only was she happier, but her mind grew brighter and clearer. She’s had what Jane and I call “the happy chemicals” going and it changed her whole outlook.
This week let’s find one thing we emotionally love and just do it. King David danced and played music. Peter went fishing. Jesus went up to the mountains. And I go to the movies.
Whether it’s the movies, a trip to the mountains, watching your favorite sport or any other “time out” activity, let’s not deny ourselves the opportunity to refresh our souls and get healthier and brighter as we enjoy what God’s given us.
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