(The famous Chicken Potholder)
The game is called “Chicken Run”; the rules are simple. IT tries to tag another player with a chicken-shaped potholder, or he/she may throw the potholder Frisbee-style, and snag someone that way. If the chicken touches you below the shoulder, you’re the next IT.
I love to play this game with our granddaughters because anyone of any age can participate, and laughter is guaranteed– sometimes the result of a clever move that avoids the potholder, or a “You-missed-me!” soon followed by a solid chicken-thwack.
(A 30-second rest before the next round.)
Nobody keeps score. When we get too tired to run, the game is over, yet everyone feels energized and relaxed. No surprise there. You’ve surely experienced how rejuvenating a bit of fun can be—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
But here’s an idea that may surprise you: Fun also rejuvenates us spiritually.
Fun can impact our faith.
I admit: Faith and fun are two words we seldom use together. We sometimes feel guilty for having fun, asking with King Solomon, “What does pleasure accomplish (Ecclesiastes 2:2)?”
But at least several benefits await those who embrace faith and fun together.
Before I list them, however, please understand: I am not suggesting that a bit of fun will erase all pain and sorrow. Trouble clearly overshadows fun–at least for a season. But, praise God, joy does come in the morning (Psalm 30:5)!
The benefits of embracing faith and fun together include:
- The euphoria of answered prayer.
God allows us to be a part of his miracles as we pray for the needs of others. What fun to see his answers come to pass—sometimes way beyond our requests or daydreams (Ephesians 3:20)! Several years ago, I wrote about just such an incident in “Part of the Process.”
2. The pursuit of all things praiseworthy.
God provides pleasurable fun for us to enjoy every day—even in the midst of difficulty. Such pleasures include: sliding into a fleecy robe on a chilly morning; catching the carefree laughter of children on the breeze; spooning into the season’s first bowl of autumn squash soup.
- The realization that God has engineered circumstances—even in small matters.
Steve and I stopped at a store to inquire about a recliner we’d purchased there, because the bottom and top sections seemed to be separating. A cheerful salesman showed us how to make the simple repair ourselves.
While there, we checked the clearance section and found a rug and another chair—absolutely perfect for our new home and super-bargain priced. What fun that we would “just happen” (A-hem!) into that store at that time!
(Even prettier in person!)
- The special delight of faith-filled people who also know how to laugh.
Somehow God augments the pleasure of fun that rests on a foundation of faith—perhaps because a Christian secure in Jesus is not looking to impress others. They can even tell stories on themselves.
My grandfather was just such a person. One time, as he was about to leave the mall, he put his key in the lock of his car and nothing happened. The key would not turn. (This happened before key-fobs.) He wondered if the lock had frozen up and he’d have to call Triple-A.
Suddenly a man’s voice from behind him said, “Here. Try this key.” It was the owner of the car. Gramps was trying to get into a similar-but-incorrect car. The two of them enjoyed a good chuckle and wide-eyed amazement that the car owner arrived on the scene when he did.
Now we never would have known about the incident except Gramps told us. Unlike some who’d feel foolish after such a mistake, he had fun relating the story. And perhaps without knowing it, Gramps modeled for us a humble, unself-conscious celebration of life—mistakes included–the result of his strong faith-foundation on Jesus. (You may enjoy Gramps’ amazing life-turnaround story in “The God of Rachel, Henry, and Clara.”)
Billy Sunday used to say:
(“If you have no joy, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.”)
Let’s plug the leaks with a little fun!
What kind of fun impacts your faith? Please share in the Comments section below!