You will show me the path that leads to life; your presence fills me with joy and brings me pleasure forever – Ps 16:11 (Goodnews Bible)
Depending on when you started your spiritual journey, you would have come across at least one person that has shown concern for your chosen misfortune. Sometimes, these concerns come as subtle comments, but often, it is a direct confrontation to attack what is perceived as the poor choice you have made in life. Your choice of Jesus!
Undeniably, choosing Jesus comes at a price! If any of you want to be my follower, you must stop thinking about yourself and what you want – Matt 16:24 (Easy to Read Version). However, is it a journey devoid of fun?
The image of a certain young man interested in marrying me many years ago come to mind. Convinced of his selling point as the best suitor, he was offering to make my life fun!
With the benefit of hindsight, he must have censored the lives of believers at the time and arrived at a conclusion that there was a missing link. That the Christian life was boring! I perceive he did not want to fall behind in what life had to offer. His future had to be laced with so many pleasurable moments. In his search therefore, he was going to guarantee his selected partner a life that would far outweigh what was easily available within the Christian community. A fair negotiation.
Well, among other things, I did not take the offer. This was because his concept of fun was warped.
In a broader context than the story I shared; fun is not an end point to pursue. Actually, it is an embedded part of life’s package. One for which our Lord has given us everything to enjoy! Fun must be a part of a whole. Not the whole. Otherwise, life will be reduced to a mere pursuit of emptiness. You’re addicted to thrills. What an empty life. The pursuit of pleasure is never satisfied – Proverbs 21:17 (Message Translation)
It is a misrepresentation of the kingdom of God to assume that we are doomed to a ‘funless’ life. The kingdom life is fully provided for; fun inclusive. He gave us everything! Only that He sets boundaries.
In God’s kingdom, what we eat and drink is not important. Here is what is important: a right way of life, peace, and joy- all from the Holy Spirit.
What do we find in the presence of God? Joy! Beauty! Splendor! The presence of the Holy Spirit in a believer’s life produces joy- an indescribable pleasure that opens paths to an abundant life. Being with the Lord is Life!
But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely – Galatians 5: 22 (Message Translation)
Did you notice exuberance about life as a fruit indicating the Presence of the Holy Spirit? Yes! The exuberance is set in loyal commitment, in sticking with things, in directing our energies wisely, and letting holiness permeate everything we do.
How then Do I Harness this Exuberant Life without Sinning?
Explore your Creative Propensities: God is the Creator, and by the nature of Christ in you, you can create the sort of fun that you relish. Even if it is not easily available or does not exist. This sort of fun is drawn out of your internal recesses and given expression in the external. This creative ability also includes recreating if you need to change some of your acquired tastes and preferences as it relates to fun and entertainment. You’ll have to deliberately explore your creative propensities.
Creative activities of this sort could come in form of creating music, writing poetry or prose, reading healthy resources, and imagining the plots, learning to play musical instruments, painting, drawing etc. You can also create an atmosphere that promotes dancing. You can declutter your environment to relax and allow yourself to experience the pleasure of creativity.
Connect with External Fun: There are people in your life that can supply healthy doses of fun and infuse you with positive energy. However, this will require you identifying them and stepping out to get it. To enjoy, you must be deliberate about connecting with friends and family for laughter, for reliving memories, and for creating new ones. The blessing of this circle produces fun. God provides home for those who are lonely. HE frees people from prison and makes them happy… Psalm 68:6 (ERV)
Oh, how wonderful, how pleasing it is when God’s people all come together as one … It is there that the Lord has promised his blessing of eternal life. Psalm 133 (ERV)
You can play; by doing nothing serious. You can share birthday events with your loved ones. If you genuinely care, you will show up for them. You will limit your excuses. You will find many more reasons to connect with those who bring life out of you. You can also meet up your godly network for group work-out sessions and experience pleasure right where those endorphins are released in the brain. And here is more: to participate in study groups, to watch life transforming movies, to plan an adventurous travel to see and learn new things. To hang out with kingdom folks for all kinds of games, to spend weekend holidays out of your home, to go shopping at the new mall in town etc.
The deliberateness of this means you will build these activities into your weekly/monthly/annual schedules. The schedule will motivate you to take timeouts for things that matter to you. Place the activities in a visible place around your house or workspace. Make a commitment to book the outing and remember to reward yourself when you do so. One more, just breathe!
While engaging yourself with these activities, the Holy Spirit will be at work in you to do of His good pleasure.
Now go have fun! It is fully paid for.