I don’t know if you have ever thought about this, but having fun is a serious business.

Having fun is something we should take seriously.

Did you know that in the United States there is A NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR PLAY dedicated to research into the importance of play of having fun?

What they have discovered is that play is hugely important not just for children but for adults too.

Here is some of their conclusions based on the most recent research

Today, a diverse body of play research has shown that play is central to leading healthy, productive human lives. No matter your age, play is as important to your mental health as food is to your physical health. Making play a regular part of your life is incredibly powerful. Play supports our mental health, improves our ability to relate to others, and increases our drive and hope for the future. When play is missing or inadequate, it can have negative consequences in all of these areas. Play won’t magically solve every problem, but it can — and will — give you a more optimistic outlook and mitigate stress levels during challenging life events.

Thousands of years before a psychologist wrote about that research a Jewish philosopher was reflecting on the same thing, the importance of doing things in life we really enjoy this is what he says

Even though people may live for many years, they should enjoy every one of them. But they should also remember there will be many dark days

That piece of advice comes from Ecclesiastes 11:8 so its in God’s Word.

We are being told here that we should enjoy life as much as possible because that will help us handle the dark days and to enjoy life we need to do stuff that is fun.

Essentially the writer of Ecclesiastes is saying we should stockpile fun experiences to help us get through the tough times when they come.

With the pandemic, we have gone through what the writer of Ecclesiastes called MANY DARK DAYS. Experiences that have sucked the joy out of our lives.

And I know it’s not news you want to hear but we will go through dark days in the future. Joy sucking days will come our way. That’s why God’s Word tells us and science backs it up that we should take having fun seriously. We should plan to do stuff we enjoy doing.

That’s why I posted a picture of me sitting on my motorbike. This isn’t just a means of transport for me, it’s a source of joy. It puts a smile on my face. When I put my helmet on and start her up, I forget about my problems, I don’t think about work, I just know that riding this bike through corners and in beautiful countryside brings me joy. Riding my beautiful (well she is to me) Italian motorbike is one of the ways that I intentionally ensure I enjoy life

So what about you?

What do you intentionally do to put a smile on your face and some joy in your heart?

I suspect many of us as adults may have forgotten how to have fun.

The Book Proverbs reminds us what modern science has confirmed, having joyful experiences is good for our health, spiritual, emotional, mental and physical

A joyful heart is good medicine, Proverbs 17:22

So I have a prescription for some medicine for you, do some stuff that fills your heart with joy

This summer I want to encourage you to take some time and go out and do something fun. Get some joy into your heart, its good medicine for your mental and spiritual well being

Go for a hike

Join a choir

Play with a dog

Go dancing

Play tennis

Go sailing

Go running ( does anyone really find running fun? 😉 )

Start drawing or painting

Take up a new hobby

Have a meal with a mate

Go paddle boarding

Bake a cake

Find something that you find fun and work it into your weekly routine

When the dark days come you will be glad you did.

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