I'm learning lots about how to have fun. Being a father of 3 pre-school aged children and a pastor to youth and their families has allowed me to be submersed in a great learning environment that welcomes experimentation.
Growing up I was under the impression that I needed to choose to be serious or to choose to have fun in life. It's only now, in the early middle stages of my adulthood that I'm learning these two elements can actually coexist. Here are the top three things I'm learning about the value of having fun.
1. Fun is essential in helping to build community. This isn't rocket science. If you don't enjoy being with someone, why would you continue a relationship with them? I agree that fun must be balanced with moments of depth, but fun should never be fully abandoned when attempting to build community.
2. Learning to have fun is a lot easier when you don't take yourself too seriously. I'm so grateful to my children who teach me the value of this every day. It's ok to unplug, let one's hair down and simply enjoy the "lighter" side of life. Anything I have in life doesn't belong to me...it's a gift that has been given to me by God. As a recipient of these gifts, I'm blessed and these blessings are meant to be used to bless others. It's not about me, it's about investing on people. If I'm letting my hair down only to help someone else catch a greater glimpse of the hope that exists in life, then that is ok. As a leader and a parent, I often set the tone for others to follow. If I'm not enjoying the blessing of life that I've been given, how can I expect anyone that I lead to enjoy their lives?
3. Pick your spots. The writer of Ecclesiastes said it best, "there is a time for everything." The same can be said for pursuing and having fun. My role as a parent and a leader is to know when to cut loose, and when to buckle down. Being goofy all of the time will allow people to write me off as someone who isn't keen on developing a depth of character. In the same way, being serious all of the time doesn't allow others to see that life is more than hardship.
Fun has value; it's an essential part of our lives. If we weren't meant to enjoy the blessing of life we've been given, why would we have been created with the ability to laugh? My hope and prayer is that I would continue to learn how to balance moments of being serious with moments of pure enjoyment so that my kids and the others I have the privilege of impacting would be inspired to live life to the full through the hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ.