Like a delicate scale that tips toward the stress side, balance remains a challenge. Work, work and more work – no time for play.
Without play, creativity is left to fight against the stress and becomes its own version of writers block.
Not that the words cease to come – thankfully, but the words no longer filter through the divine whisper. Instead, they sound like clichés and the craft becomes lifeless to the writer.
Without play, stress wins because there are always more things to do, more places to go and more tasks to complete.
Play pouts in the corner – unable to garner my attention yet plaguing me with silent screams.
In a corner of my office sits my tote bag, filled with colorful pens, crayons and the latest Mandela. But work calls through the filter of stress, so I ignore the bag even while wishing for just a few moments of playful joy.
In her book about recovering balance, “Finding the Deep River Within” http://amzn.to/1dkf32m Abby Seixas writes, “We must break the cultural habit of sacrificing our inner lives for our outer lives, of giving up depth in deference to speed.”
Stress and its deceptive sister, speed, require that we work hard to complete more tasks. We do them quickly so that we can accomplish more and then check our to-do lists for the momentary satisfaction of achievement.
Yet in that speed, we sacrifice the beauty of rest that ultimately feeds our souls. We give up our need to go deep and find our most intimate selves. We lose our place, sitting in God’s lap where he says, “Be still and know me.”
The delicate scale balances precariously toward burnout.
But the solution is not that difficult. We all have 168 hours each week to figure it out. Yes, work is important. Certainly, work is necessary but then so is play.
It merely takes a smidgeon of self-discipline to stop multi-tasking, to cut away at the distractions and to invite soul time. To breathe deeply, close the eyes against the computer screen glare and embrace solitude.
And in that embrace, we learn to honor our own souls as well as the Divine One who made us in the first place.
To make the decision for more balance brings hope to that inner place where the child still waits for the adult and where memories of laughter, colors and sand castles still thrive.
I commit to that decision. I embrace that hope and if you will excuse me – I must gather my toys and go play.
©2015 RJ Thesman – Author of the Reverend G books http://amzn.to/1rXlCyh
Image by Flaticon
What a beautiful picture. It is all very relevant to me. Thank you.
Thanks, Jen. Balance is so important – in every season of life. I know you work hard to make it happen and you’re doing a great job.
I have an art journal where I play with using art to express my gratitude. I use all sorts of my grandchildren’s left over crayons, colored pencils, water colors, etc. I take my journal and some of my stash of art supplies along with me and draw or doodle at stressful times. It helps me, and sometimes I tear out a page and share with another person who needs some relief also. I have found I make no mistakes playing like this: I can color over, paint out, etc., problems in my drawing. Seems God does a better job with my own mistakes in life: He totally makes them disappear.
I think God plays quite a lot. He dances over us with joy. Zephaniah
Ginger – you are an inspiration to me. I love your authenticity and your sense of play ! You are one of my favorite people in the whole world.
Love the last line of your post. DID you go play?
Yes, but not with colors. Spent some time playing piano.
I would enjoy listening.
And, you are one of my favorite people/Saturday Sisters in the whole wide world. Now go play on your lunch hour.
Thanks! Will have to wait until after work tonight. Then … maybe play with some bubbles.
Very good Rebecca
Thanks, Tom – appreciate your faithfulness in reading my blog and commenting!