Almost exactly a week ago, I was in a Young Life leaders meeting, and we were praying before the end of the meeting. This girl who I had briefly discussed with started to pray, and something she said that caught me momentarily was something along the lines of this: "God, thank you for making this world so that we can play in it." It struck me a bit at the time because I had never heard something like that before, but then I forgot about it and went my own way after the meeting.
This morning, after a rough, stress-filled evening, I was walking outside after my chemistry class and really taking in all of the things around me: the perfectly clear, blue sky; the trees reaching up to the great expanse above them; the countless birds and chipmunks and squirrels chattering and running from here to there; the tall residence buildings, the old frat houses, the grassy quads. And those words came back into my mind: "God, thank you for making this world so that we can play in it." And I nearly stopped mid-step as I was walking back to my dorm. Suddenly I looked at everything from this perspective. The world around us, all of the trees and animals and buildings and sky and everything else, is a playground. We are running around in a playground larger than we could ever imagine. It's a strange thought, I'll admit, but what an interesting outlook! I could barely keep from grinning ear to ear as I walked back to my dorm with the perspective that I have been placed in the midst of Creation to play in this playground of a world we live in. It's so hard to describe the feeling. Try it for yourself! It really changes how you see everything around you.
It also brings with it the reminder that God loves us simply because He does. It doesn't matter what our grades look like, what jobs we work, how good at sports we are. That stuff matters in society, sure. It usually ends up determining our next steps in life. But God looks past all of it and into your heart. He sees beyond the letters and the drama and the practices. He sees us as we truly are, and He sees us as incredibly beautiful, even in the midst of our messy lives. Don't forget about living in society, but don't be of it. Let go. Be different. Take each day as it comes, and enjoy each bit of it.
Matthew 6:34 = "So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today" (NLT).