Recreation: a concept associated with fun, sports leagues, fishing, biking, hunting, hobbies… you know, recreational activities. If we were to ask one another what kind of recreation we enjoyed, we would normally defer to an activity we do. The idea is: when I do “x,” I feel rested and refreshed. Two things I want to offer to you this week as I prepare to have some “recreation time” with my family and friends.
The word recreation is not a phrase coined by the boating and tourism industry. The root of the word implies something far more important. According to dictionary.com “Re-” is a borrowed prefix from Latin, and it adds meaning to words to imply “again” or “again and again” to mean repetition. Re- may also imply “back.” Creation — as Christians, we understand the ongoing work of God to make new, to bring forth life, also associated with the initial bringing forth of all which is.
It is no large leap to realize the word “recreation” then means to be RE-created… to be made new again or to be restored to a previous condition. We were made in the image of God and that state needs to be renewed. It is no mistake God is said to rest as a part of the Creation story. It is important for us to remember that rest is a vital part of who we are made to be. For any work to be made complete, it must be accompanied by rest. Even if you have the privileged position where your work life and your calling from God line up — we all must realize as a part of God’s work, we must recreate — rest.
In the interest of transparency — I must admit I’m slightly hypocritical on this second part — GULP. In our society, we associate recreation with activities. We make recreation look like a commercial for Cabela’s or Bass Pro. Have you ever returned from a vacation saying something like, “I’m worn out?” Like it or not, my fellow Americans, you were designed as a human being, not a human doing. In other words, take time to BE. Take a break from DOING. Activities can be fun — I love to explore and sail. That is still a form of work. To truly rest, we must be. For true recreation, take some time to just be: be with God, be with your family, be with life giving friends, be… just be.
So in July, I’ll be re-creating. I have some work around the house to do. My mom is excited to have our family go to church with her for the first time in years. I hope my sailboat hasn’t forgotten what to do when it hits the water. We will spend time in Seattle with family and friends. And yes, we will just rest.
A quick side note: we will have house sitters and guests when we are gone, so please do not worry when you see people there.