Remaining the same for me year after year has been trying to come up with an original reflection/homily for Trinity Sunday. But suddenly (thank you Holy Spirit) I resonated to the words at the end of the First Reading: “I was His delight day by day, playing before Him all the while, playing on the surface of His earth; and I found delight in the human race.”
We tend to take God very seriously. Sure, we can imagine God as Comforter or Savior, as Healer or Protector. Perhaps we can even imagine crawling up on Jesus’ lap, where he’ll wrap His strong arms around our weary spirits. But can we imagine God as playmate? Can we imagine God as the Father who tosses His child with joy into the air? Or Jesus laughing with delight at human antics just as we laugh at the YouTube videos of funny animals?
Sadly, adult playfulness is viewed with suspicion. It’s seen as immature, or harassing, or condescending. That’s why it’s hard for us to see it as an attribute of God. Nowadays the idea of playfulness focuses on doing something “for fun”, but the fun is all too often dead serious, such as an intense game of tennis or an addictive iPhone game. But if playfulness is a gift of God, then it perhaps can be seen as a state of mind and heart: cheerful, frisky, frolicsome, good-natured, joyous, merry, rollicking, spirited, sprightly [and/or] vivacious.
We really need to allow ourselves to indulge in the pleasures of pointless or sheerly enjoyable activity, whether that means board games, dancing, pulling pranks, or making other people laugh. Growing up, in other words, doesn’t have to mean cutting fun and lightheartedness out of our lives. On the contrary, it may mean realizing that engaging in such “childishness” is an excellent use of our time.
Not only is it an excellent use of our time, but it brings about a greater unity with God (“I was his delight”), with the earth (“playing on the surface of the earth”), and greater unity with other people (“I found delight in the human race”).
Be God’s smile for someone today!