A Few Thoughts on Recreation

I am currently on level 490 in Candy Crush. Candy Crush is an app where you match kinds of candy in challenging puzzles to achieve the goal. It’s fun. It is also a colossal waste of time.

However, every life has some time to waste. I enjoy playing Candy Crush while listening to podcasts. I enjoy playing a few games while waiting for my wife  who said she was leaving “in a minute.” It’s a nice diversion while in waiting rooms or sitting in the car waiting for kids.

It’s still a waste of time, but most of the time, it’s time I’d be wasting anyway. And, yes, I know, I could be reading my Bible or memorizing. I got that covered already.

I consider Candy Crush to be recreation. If you think about the word “recreation” you will notice it’s made up of two parts. Re and creation. It literally means “to refresh by means of relaxation and enjoyment, as restore physically or mentally.

You know you have successfully recreated when you feel more alive afterwards.

Sometimes we think recreation is a waste. That depends. Some things we consider recreation really aren’t.

There are times when I watch too much TV, or play too much Candy Crush, or watch too many videos on YouTube, where I certainly don’t feel more alive afterward. In fact, sometimes I feel awful and horrible about existence itself.

One man’s recreation is another man’s waste of time. I know people who judge my football watching even though they obsessively watch movies. People think running is stupid, because everyone should fish. Your recreation is not a standard others should be judged by.

One of the greatest things in life is finding something that gives you life that is also helpful to others. For me, preaching and writing, when it goes well, is recreation. It gives me a charge. I feel re-created after a good, rousing sermon.

One of the reasons I have maintained this blog for so long is that I simply enjoy writing. Whether anyone reads it, not really the main point! Even less of a point is whether anyone liked it! I just like writing.

We all have down-time in life, and those who don’t have down time have issues. We need down time. We need diversion and recreation. We need rest. We need to unplug the brain at times. This is not a bad thing.

Christians tend to get obsessed with “Redeem the time” guilt trips. “Every second must be spent for eternity. People go to hell because you are crushing candy.” Lighten up. God rested, I imagine we should too.

But all things can be abused. We should think carefully about our time choices, but we should also refrain from obsessing about being productive every second of existence. You’ll give yourself an ulcer. There is a time to chill.

Find that time and find something that recreates you.


2 thoughts on “A Few Thoughts on Recreation”

  1. I think the danger to this kind of recreation is that it is not merely “exercise”. There is a certain kind of philosophy in these games. You are rewarded with lights, flashes, buzzers, and flattering expressions about how great and brilliant you are for achieving certain levels. And yet, in the end, it really doesn’t help anyone else.

    Now take a task like doing the dishes. It also requires dexterity, and mind/body coordination. You also have to organize certain things in groups (like putting all the forks in the right place), and it also actually helps others and really accomplishes something useful. But there are no lights, buzzers, nor flattering expressions associated with it. So most people (especially children) shun the task and look at it as drudgery. The flesh is not pampered, so there’s no excitement there. But a spiritual mind will appreciate the task and see the value of it.

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