Friday, November 15, 2013

Redeemed Work is Play

I was putting the leaves in the green waste bin since it's Autumn, and I had the kids jumping on all the leaves to compact them down so they could all fit. The kids were doing work, but it was actually for them, play.
They got tired of it eventually, and it was my chore, not theirs, so I got them down and went on stuffing leaves into the bin until it nearly overflowed; then I climbed in and started stomping it myself. The 2 year old sees me, grabs the rake and runs to me, "Daddy you're stuck, grab the line, I get you down!" He was so passionate, so hurried and so insistent that it caught me off guard.
What he was doing of course was helping Daddy. Yes, his idea of helping was completely useless, offering a man a rake when held by a kid, but he was trying so hard that I burst out laughing.
And realized that work isn't really work. It's play.

God didn't redeem us and give us tasks to do because He wants to burden us, it's so we could, well, play together. He's doing all the work, we might as well get in there and have a good time about it.God has us rake the leaves so we can jump in them. He has us squish them in the barrel so we could have fun with it. Our works are given to us for our enjoyment, because we're, for a lack of a better word, playing together with Him.

The notion of works to earn our salvation pervades our notion of work. It ends up a colorless, mechanical, joyless thing we do. Work. But for the redeemed, work gets a big infusion of color, life, hope, laughter, joy. Working with God is delightful, so much so that the word work doesn't hold up any longer. Neither does the word play which speaks of a total absence of productivity, but in the end I think play gets closer to what we are in Christ.

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