Fun is a part of how God has made us “to be”.
Through fun and play, we renew friendships, care for our minds and souls, and experience a side of our Creator God who laughs and enjoys what He has given to us… life, creation, and people.
Here are three ways you can experience God’s presence by having fun this summer without spending a penny.
Find Your Inner Child
Kids experience the world and learn through play. So, grab some toys, play make believe, or go out and run through the sprinkler.
As we “grow up”, childish fiction becomes somewhat immature. We become realists, jaded, and scarred by being bullied, fighting our own skeletons when it comes to what other people think about us, and being told that some things are “just for kids”. Through these hurts, we build walls of protection around our heart, mind, and soul.
That’s not “growing up” - it’s insecurity.
But, Jesus talks about how even our faith must become childlike (Matthew 18:2-4). Simple. Secure not in ourselves, but in what God has done for us in Jesus.
When we become secure in that God made us to be childlike when it comes to experiencing His never-ending love for us, we can relax. The bullies are silenced by Jesus’ promises. The skeletons are buried in Jesus’ grave. And other people’s opinions are unarmed with the words, “I have called you by name. You are mine” (Isaiah 43:1).
It may sound juvenile, but finding your inner child by finding some toys around the house, imagining life happening in a fantasy world, or just giggling in your front yard might just be what you need to re-engage your inner playful side that God created and you might have stuffed it down and away.
Best of all - it probably won’t cost you anything!
Take an Unproductive Walk
We say, “God made me”. We don’t always live like we believe it.
If God made our bodies (which He does), then God gives us the responsibility to care for them (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
So, go take a walk… wherever you want! Around the block. Explore the city. To the grocery store (instead of driving!). You don’t need an agenda. You don’t need anything to talk about. Just be together… and walk. You might end up laughing because it’s so un-American to be together without a plan, agenda, or reason. I mean, it’s so “unproductive”. And yet, God does His best work out of nothing (Genesis 1, Psalm 139).
Even if you walk in familiar places, you may notice new or different things when you're taking an unproductive walk.
Better yet - find somebody to go join you on the walk!
The only thing a walk might cost you is the lemonade or iced tea you’ll enjoy when you get home.
Oh... and leave your phone at home.
Draw a Picture and Share It
I think the older we get the more self-conscious we are about what we produce. Whether it’s a project at work, a meal that we cook, or the words that we choose to use in our conversations - our minds often overthink everything. Anxiety increases which leaves us drained and exhausted.
So, let’s try reversing our self-conscious thoughts!
Find a friend or someone else in your family and share a bible verse together. “Jesus wept” is totally fine. Then, grab some paper and markers, pencils, crayons… whatever you can find - and draw a picture of whatever the passage makes you think about using your non-dominant hand. Then, exchange the picture and guess what each other drew.
You’re engaging God’s Word (one of the places God promises to be present!) and if you’re so-not-a-Picasso, like me, you’ll share some good laughs!
Do you have a favorite way to experience God’s presence through fun and play without spending a penny? Drop me an email and let me know!
Meet Pastor Tim
Tim Bayer has served as Our Savior's Lead Pastor since September 2019. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor at Concordia University - Irvine, a National Leadership Facilitator and Resource, and a Community Mental Health First Aid Instructor. Tim studied sociology, psychology, and theology prior to earning his M.Div at Concordia Seminary - St. Louis. He has also is a candidate for an Ed.D (ABD) in Transformational Leadership. He is married to Beth and they have three young children. Together, they enjoy exploring the outdoors, experiencing culture, and pizza and movie nights.