It is Friday morning and I sit in the quietness to reflect on the past week at Camp Wapo. It has been a wonderful week. We brought over 80 middle schoolers and 12 high school students to join hundreds more at this amazing camp. We were greeted by enthusiastic staff, most of whom are college students, who maintained a level of joyful energy that seems superhuman.
Camp is a wonderful mixture of wild silliness, physical activity, music, art, quiet rest, and spiritual reflection. It is a place to simply…play.
The practical, hardworking, Protestant mind may think, “what a waste of time, shouldn’t we rather be teaching our children the benefit of hard work or sending them to the mission field to work for God’s kingdom? What part do silly skits, jumping up and down to camp songs, and a beach bash have to do with God’s work?”
A gift from God arrived in my inbox this morning to address this very question. Matthew Fox’s daily meditation for today is titled “The Mystics on Play.” In it he argues that play is not only necessary for spiritual vitality, but part of the very essence of God.
He points to Proverbs 8:30, which in the NRSV reads:
then I was beside him,
like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight,
rejoicing before him always,
rejoicing in his inhabited worldand delighting in the human race.
I did a little digging and word study, and I think this might be a better (more honest) translation:
Then I was beside him as a child,
I was daily delight,
Playing before him always,
Playing in his inhabited world,
And delighting in the human race.
Thank God for a place like Wapo where I can play like a child alongside our children in the presence of God. May we be forever young in the presence of our God, Claimed and wildly loved by our creator and sustainer.
In the spirit of play, I had a chance to slip away and do these three sketches this week. This is one of the ways I play with God.