“Clothe yourself with Christ.”– Romans 13:14
You already know the world is full of enticements to pull you away from your higher purpose.
Simple things. Complicated things. External and internal things. Relational, familial, emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual. Positional, theological, philosophical, existential, practical, organizational, tactical, political… The realms of knowledge and experience you must learn to navigate are vast–and you’ll have to ignore them all at times.
If you want to remain attuned to what’s truly important, focus and discipline are crucial. You know by now–it’s your work as a writer of the ideas your Inspirer has entrusted you to steward.
And you might think that discipline is exactly what you need. Just to get fully inspired to take the weighty privilege seriously. And then hold onto that at all costs.
But this word-work isn’t all work. It’s also a lighthearted tromp through imaginary meadows made specifically for your great enjoyment. And to grab hold of the seriousness without including the joy would be like knowing the depth of your depravity without the freedom of grace.
Lately, I’ve realized how easily I can forget this.
I’m serious by nature, but like many people I was also trained to be this way. As a kid, I was taught to do everything right, please, and right away, without complaint. So I learned to keep my attitudes, and my free-play, locked inside.
Brene Brown says you can’t selectively numb. I guess you also can’t select what you hold in.
The great news is, I’ve learned, and so have my parents, that kids are God’s gift to help us take ourselves and our important work less seriously. I thank him every single day that we get to learn this lesson together. And had we not struggled to learn it we wouldn’t value it now like we do. Without the tickle fights and the trick-or-treating and our constant new adventures, I’d be a boring old man at 41.
Frivolity isn’t just about having fun, you know. It’s in letting go that we remember the purity of being children of One High Parent.
Today it was basketball. Charlotte wanted to practice for her upcoming first season in Upward. I’d post pictures, but I was having too much fun.
Charlotte made exactly 42 baskets. And at number 36, Ellie reminded us of another favorite frivolous pastime, quoting lines from favorite movies:
I even made a few shots. And all of this on a perfect fall Sunday afternoon (with All Saints Day and the gift of the Reformation fresh in my mind) I was remind that even when I’m an old codger and I’ve written a whole mess of books, I’ll still have to practice doing at least one frivolous thing every day.
The light-hearted know something the wisest men have forgotten.
Hopefully, some grandkids will be around to remind me. I think I’d better start getting ready now…
Recently we went to my nephew’s marching band competition. That was some serious fun. And when Ellie wore her costume (Dark Link from Legend of Zelda) to her youth orchestra practice on Saturday, I was such a proud dad.
Remember–discipline without frivolity is deadly. Discipline alone would convince you only of your deficiencies, your faults.
It’s only in releasing control that your heart becomes light. When you have fun, you inspire happiness. You release the people around you to enjoy.
Sure, discipline is necessary. And there’s nothing more important than persistence in the creative arts. But you also need a light heart to remember that your deficiencies don’t matter one ignorant lick next to the sufficiency of the One who chose you before the beginning of time.
Purity of heart is to will one thing, Kierkegaard said. Will yourself to have some healthy fun and you’ll remain pure in heart. I promise.
I know you don’t think it can be that easy. But who said letting go to have good, clean fun was easy?
It takes practice. So get started.
Your faults are covered, my friend. Every mistake. Every wrong move.
Let them all go.
And go have some fun.
For the higher purpose,