Earlier this month, I spent some time with my cousin’s young children at a small town festival. I felt an unusal (for me) energy and freedom in my heart. I laughed and ran and played and rode carnival rides with the girls. It felt wonderful. A woman who ran one of the carnival rides pulled me aside and mentioned to me that she never sees adults having so much fun at festivals and she loved it. I was a little embarassed, but also kind of amazed. Who was this Lori that I’d become? I’d felt this spark inside of me that exploded into laughter and smiles.
As I drove home, I thought more about the weekend. I’m usually a stay home and read a book kind of person – I’m most happy when I’m alone at home. But, that weekend with the kids at a noisy, crowded festival was so life-giving! It made me realize how my life centers on the serious – I’m naturally drawn to deep, serious, heavy topics. I love mulling over tough topics, sitting with them and journaling about them. But, this weekend made me realize that I have a serious “fun deficiency” in my life! I looked at a picture that my aunt took of me and my cousin’s daughter on a ride and couldn’t help but see that feeling of joyful abandon as an act of worship. Arms spread, shoes kicked-off, yelling “woo-hoo!!”, laughing. Laughter can be a prayer of gratitude. Holding a child’s hand can crack open my heart even more to God’s love for me. Joy and a smile can be incredibly meaningful to a heavy heart. Celebrating together deepens relationships. Now that I’ve re-entered my “normal” way to life, I’m trying to look for ways to bring fun, celebration and levity into my life regularly.
How about you? What role does fun have in your life?