Free to play the game (of life) with creativity

…the Spirit of God beckons our souls to breathe in elegant simplicity. Even on pressure-fulled days, we must be free to pick up the pace or slow down. Free to stop and worship God for a few minutes. Free to weep openly when we experience grief. Free to laugh from the soul. Free to lift our hands to heaven and worship God without fear of what others might think. Free to openly confess our sins. Free to listen to the hearts and dreams of those around us.

Paul Richardson, A Certain Risk, p. 178

I just really like this passage here. Freedom in Christ. We are so good at enslaving ourselves. Another story from back in the day.

When I was in high school I played basketball. I had talent, a good shot, and was quite athletic. My problem was that I was very analytical in my approach to the game. Playing basketball was all about memorizing plays, memorizing schemes, and going to the right place at the right time. At any given time the “right” thing to do was determined by what the coach had told us in practice, the steps we had practiced, and the plays we had learned. Game time was a test of how well I had “learned the facts” of the game, so to speak. It was 80% rote, 20% reacting to the immediate circumstances of the game itself.

When I got to college I began to look at the game in a new light. I didn’t play on the school team, but spent countless hours playing with a group of very good players every night after classes, on weekends, and any time we had opportunity. In the absence of playbooks and coach-directed practices I began to appreciate the creative side of the game—reacting in the moment, creatively making immediate decisions, and enjoying the flow of the game. I began to understand that a good team must have a basic framework with which to work—plays, guiding philosophies, and some concrete steps by which it operates—but that the key to moving beyond “average” and “mediocrity” was found in the creative “dancing” that occurs between five players who know each other, trust each other, and are willing to submit to one another for the good of the team.

In this freedom to play the game…a team finds true joy and success. May it be so in our lives, as well.

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