In Jesus’ Name We Play

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Every night, when my children and I say our prayers, we end with the phrase, “In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

When my son was two, he mistakenly replaced the world Pray with the word Play. The altered phrase stuck with me and carried a special message. Perhaps my toddler understood much more about faith than I had given him credit for. Was it a simple phonetic substitution, or was he telling me something I needed to hear?

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The next day, as I played with my young children at the park, I stepped back, and watched a sister and brother share the slide, play hide-n-seek, and venture out into the world at each other’s side.  I cherished every giggle, as they played together in a zone of perfect peace. Pure joy. Delight.

Delight – one of my favorite words. It makes me think of being so happy, so overjoyed, that we take on a special glow. We become one with the light – the supreme power, the essential energy that keeps the universe in sync. It is, in essence, the effect of touching God – or at least the closest we can come at this stage in our being.

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The point of the story is this — it’s not just when we pray that we should be reverent and respectful of our faith, but at all times – even when we play. And perhaps, in those jubilant moments, when we open ourselves up to true peace and happiness, it is then that we are closest to God.

How did I get all of that out of  a toddler’s simple twist of the tongue? I know it may seem a bit hokey. But I try to absorb the many lessons my children teach me. I hope I never let myself get too busy to stop and listen. To look them in the eye and process the connection of the moment.

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I truly consider my children to be the greatest blessings in my life, sent to teach me all I need to know about giving and growing. They have been placed into my hands to stir my soul, to strip me of all selfishness. Thankfully, they never fail to remind me that it’s the simple moments, the little glimpses of time I get to spend with them, that are the greatest gifts of all.

Enjoy every moment of your day. Find your joy. Be delightful. And remember, in Jesus’ name we play.

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