Fun.

Confession time, I absolutely love the band Paramore. In middle school the album, “Riot!” and “All We Know Is Falling,” were on repeat often for me during school. Now, I do listen to music that isn’t targeted for angsty teens, but I always have fun listening to Paramore. In 2013, there was a song they put out on their self-titled album, called “Ain’t it Fun.” (I promise this is going somewhere) it basically starts by saying “Isn’t it fun how crazy and scary life is?” It then goes on with the idea that there are a million people in the world, so you can do it. I think that’s what fun does, it gives us a chance to get out of our own heads and worries and enjoy what God has around us. In this month of November, you are probably seeing many posts about what people are thankful for, and one of the things I’m thankful for is fun. I think it’s vital for not only our mental health, but spiritual health. You see fun is a blessing, one that God has given us to live in freedom.

In my life, fun is always a priority. I hate when people take things way to seriously, we have been given so much, so it’s important to laugh and enjoy the things God has given us. I always remember my family prioritizing fun early on with our, Friday family fun nights. This was things like backwards-upside down night, where you eat desert first and have it under the table, or eat Chinese food while watching Mulan (Strong female character what what!). Goofy things like this showed me that it’s good to have fun, good to laugh, dance, and push your comfort zone. You see, God loves it when we are joyful, he loves it when we enjoy the things he has given us. Ecclesiastes 8:15 says, “And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.” God isn’t saying to get plastered and forget about your responsibilities, he’s simply telling us that it brings joy to his heart when we have fun. Fun can do a great many things for our lives, and today I want to talk about two simple ways, by talking about my experience at a Halloween festival.

Fun creates connection.

I work part time at an after-school program for a Montessori school. A couple weeks ago, the junior high students created a Halloween festival for the primary age kids. It was great! My students are all really awesome, and it was fun being able to walk around, but I didn’t want to just walk around. I wanted to get involved, maybe it’s the small group leader for kids in me, but I just had to jump in. I played every game multiple times, but more importantly I got my face-painted. I walked up and my students asked me if they could “experiment” on me. I told them as long as it wasn’t inappropriate, to go for it. I ended up getting a heart on my cheek, glitter around one of my eyes, vampire teeth (complete with blood droplets), and a big black mustache! I looked ridiculous and I loved it. Something happened when I said yes to fun. I built deeper connections with my students.

Fun allows us to build bonds and be able to speak life.

Last week we talked on speaking life, and this gave me a chance to talk about how good of a job they all did creating this. While I had fun, so did a bunch of primary school kids, and that was special. We need to be willing to have fun, because fun allows for connection, and that connection creates opportunity to speak life over someone.

Fun increases our love for God.

On that awesome day I realized something, each one of those students was created in the image of God, built with a purpose and created to do great things. I can’t explicitly say that, but my actions can reflect that. Fun lets us grow closer to God because we are celebrating his creation. We are able to celebrate. It’s an act of worship! I know it may be hard to have fun, maybe you’re going through some tough stuff, but I think God gives us fun things in order to center ourselves, and look at our creator. That festival helped me as I was coming out of an anxiety heavy season. When we don’t have fun, we end up focusing on all the fears we have an open a door for the devil to come in, and the devil is a stupid liar. One of my favorite memories is when I was super stressed in my senior year, and my friend Seth invited me to his house to play Castle Crashers on Xbox and listen to Pink Floyd’s, “The Wall.” We played it well into the night and the album was played on repeat on his old vinyl player. It was fun. That fun helped me refocus on the things that matter, the future that God has made me for. In fun, we are able to be open to the calling God has for us.

After the festival, I was swinging with my students (still rocking my face-paint), when the headmaster of the school joined us. He asked me what my story was, and I was able to tell him. I was having fun and I feel called into ministry. It created a dialogue and I was able to share my faith, because I chose to have fun.

Fun.

We need fun. Fun celebrates God’s creation and allows us to create connection and increase our love for God. This means you need to have fun with your family and friends, celebrate life with them. This means, you have to say yes. When it may feel uncomfortable to get a little dirty, when it may seem anxiety inducing, even when it is waaaaay out of your comfort zone, say yes. Within reason of course, you’re not a daredevil, you bleed. It means that you say yes to get your face painted, say yes to going to the fair and trying all the rides, say yes to hanging out with that group of people (my fellow introverts, I feel you). Say yes to fun, don’t listen to the lies of Satan, he’s a liar. Have fun, create deeper connections and embrace God’s love over your life. Be thankful for the people in your life and remember to have fun, even when the world is hard.

Go out and have some fun.

-Joshua Thomas

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