“Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play.
Praise with elation, praise ev’ry morning,
God’s recreation of the new day.”- Verse 3, Morning Has Broken (Eleanor Farjeon, 1931)
“There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.”- Psalm 104:26
William (Bill) Henning, my father, was inducted into the United States Army on 25 November 1942 as a private. After four months of “basic limited service,” Pfc. Henning studied for sixteen months at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. This photo was taken in February 1944. Dad is standing immediately to the left of the student center’s toboggan. By July 1944 dad was serving in the jungles of Burma as a telephone and telegraph operator. He must have thought of that playful photo often!
Bill Hybels, founding and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, writes in Simplify (2014) that “engaging in replenishment activities . . . [is] vital to the end goal of living your one and only life at its best.” After all, you can’t give what you don’t have when you are running on empty. The late evangelist Vance Havner wrote about the soul’s need for rest: “If you don’t come apart for a while, you will come apart in a while.”
Recreation is a key replenisher. Re-creation restores vitality in your inner person so you will have much to offer others. Pastor Hybels offers some thoughts on choosing your replenisher:
“What is it for you? What fills you up? . . . Whatever it is, you need to find something that re-creates your energy and vitality, and you must install it as a regular stream of replenishment in your life. You need the replenishment of recreation to keep you filled up.”
Mark Batterson (If, 2015) believes we have underappreciated the sanctity of play. Pastor Batterson notes that, according to the Talmud, enjoying something without saying a blessing is akin to having stolen it. The way to multiply joy is to become increasingly nuanced in offering gratitude.
In Deuteronomy 28:2 we read, “And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God.” God’s blessings overtake you so you can raise your standard of giving. In other words, you flip the blessing by blessing others. And more blessings will come your way, because you cannot out-give God!
God’s recreation allows God’s grace to replenish your spirit by connecting you to His energy and joy!