On this week’s podcast, Brandon and I were talking about the importance of being intentional in both our work and our relaxation. When Brandon asked at the end if I had anything else on my mind, I lied and said no. In truth, I had a lot of things rolling around in my head at that point, we just didn’t have time to discuss them at that point. One of them was the difference between toil and labor, which we’ll be coming back to in future pods. The other, though, was something that Bishop Barron said in a video on the Mass that I’ve used in my classroom. In the video, what came back to me, though, was the last part, where he talks about the value of play.
Play is normally treated as something we do to kill time. If we view it as important, we tend to do so because we think it is a key to recharging or relaxing so that we can get back to work. Bishop Barron’s point, on the other hand, is that play is, by its nature, higher than work. Play is something we do for its own sake, we seek it because we desire to play. The end. Work, on the other hand, is a means to an end. We work to produce results. Heck, half the time, we are working to support our play.
If Bishop Barron is right, and I think he is, about play being a higher good and pursuit, then it’s time for us to get a lot more serious and intentional about our it. So often, my play is born out of boredom. I sit around, and then find something to distract me close to hand. Normally in the form of a phone, table, or other electronic. This isn’t a problem in itself on occasion, but the reason why the Mass is the highest form of play is because it is with God. It is play with the highest good, Good itself. Who or what I play with will determine how good the play is. Electronics in isolation brings me closer to isolation. Games with family and friends bring me closer to them. In the same way, the joy of being in the presence of God brings us closer to him.