Start. Playing.

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Many years ago now, I was performing a wedding ceremony, and after leading the couple through the vows, instead of saying “let us pray” I accidentally said “let us play.” The bride giggled. The groom cracked a telling smile. I think they were way ahead of me.

The more I’ve thought about that misspoken moment, the more I think I was hitting upon a deeper truth. Marriage should be about play. As should friendships. As should families. As should, buckle up for this one, churches. I’m not sure when dreary and holiness signed a partnership agreement, but I think it’s time they break up and go their separate ways, the season of Lent notwithstanding.

What happens when we play? Our heart begins to beat a little faster. Adrenaline courses through our bodies. Our mind creates strategy and insight, engaging mental and physical coordination, as well as that competitive desire to do something well. Most of all, we begin to feel wonderfully, joyfully and magnificently alive. Play can mean everything from a Scrabble game to a walk in the neighborhood to a game of golf to a dinner party to a swim in the ocean. A special word to parents — Make sure your kids are playing. Lots of playing.

Surely playing is a way of praying, because when we pray we are alive, and nothing brings God greater pleasure than our aliveness. Take a Breath today and play to the glory of God. It’s Friday! And keep in mind that it all started in a luscious garden with two naked people. God said it was good! If it’s good enough for God, it should be good enough for us.

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