Remember that feeling of freedom when you were on the swings as a kid? Or the rush of pure joy when you ran downhill at full speed? Remember playing games and laughing until your stomach ached?
At what age did all that fun have to stop? Who told us that life as an adult needed to be serious? When did fun become immature?
A few years ago, my husband and I started training for an obstacle course show on NBC called American Ninja Warrior. Despite all the hard falls and tough lessons, training became fun and brought back the joys of playing on a playground as a kid. At some point, swinging on obstacles and running across balance beams began to make me feel like I was playing on a playground for the first time in fifteen-plus years.
Now, before you stop reading, I’m not about to tell you to throw on your sneakers and start rock climbing or to run as fast as you can down a hill. But I am here to tell you, sweet sister, that it’s OK to put down your burdens and find fun in life, even during difficult seasons. Are you feeling too weary and tired to have fun? I know I’ve been there. In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites God’s people to come to Him and He promises to give us rest: “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
In the following verses, Jesus went on to tell us to take up His yoke and learn from Him, “for [His] yoke is easy and [His] burden is light” (vv. 29-30). In taking up that yoke, Jesus promises that we will find rest for our souls.
What does rest look like? Is it a long Sunday afternoon nap? Maybe. Or maybe your soul finds rest and refreshment through little things—the things that God created us for, the FUN parts of life!
Here’s how I think of FUN:
F – Find ways to be intentional in bringing activities that are fun into your regular routine. It’s easy to get carried away in the to-do lists, the errands, and the endless piles of laundry. But it is so important for us to make space for fun and time to cultivate our talents. Look at 1 Peter 4:10-11. The apostle Paul urged us in this text to celebrate our unique gifts and talents, using them to bring glory to God.
U – Understand that worship isn’t just something we do in a corporate setting or through music. Worship is the act of expressing reverence and adoration to God. In Matthew 22:37 Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is what we were created for. We can love the Lord and worship Him with our hobbies and passions.
N – Notice God’s beauty and creation not only through nature but through your unique gifts and abilities. God made you remarkably and wondrously (see Ps. 139). This includes the things that are fun for you and the activities that bring you joy!
So why does it matter if we’re finding fun in life as we get older? Somewhere in the midst of training for American Ninja Warrior, God taught me something really unique: when I’m having fun and doing the things that bring me childlike joy, He brings people into my path I would not otherwise know. He gives me opportunities to build relationships with others and windows to share my story of faith. He provides people with similar passions who will encourage and pour into my life and allows me to pour into the lives of others.
When we are in the place God designed us to be, we will find fun and be able to fully and completely serve Him. Have you ever thought that the things that are fun and bring you joy are a part of God’s unique plan for you? When we lean into the fun aspects of our lives, God can do more than we ever imagined.
So grab that paintbrush, strap on those skates, or pick up that old guitar. Make space for fun, and I promise the Lord will be faithful.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act, making your righteousness shine like the dawn, your justice like the noonday.
— Psalm 37:4-6
Juliana Wilson is the social media and influencer marketing specialist for Lifeway Women and also serves as an emcee for Lifeway Women Live. She is passionate about encouraging women and girls to dig into God’s Word and pursue an active relationship with Christ daily. Juliana loves Instagram-worthy ice cream, coffee dates, and traveling with her husband, Ben. Look for them on NBC’s hit obstacle course show: American Ninja Warrior!