When I think back to my school days, I miss recess! It was something you looked forward to as you hung out with your boys, played games and tried to get the courage to talk to a girl you liked. Good times for sure! And the great thing is I always got A’s in recess. I must say this was one of the few A’s I got in school. When I think of the distinct memories I have from recess, it seems crazy how those moments stay with me as I get older. It’s a part of my life and who I’ve become. I wish they would have adult Recess in the middle of the work day! Can I get a witness?
As grown-ups, we still seek good times and a place to play games, hang out and create more fun memories. This desire doesn’t go away with age, but it develops into our need for each other as we navigate life. So for adults, I liken Recess to relationships; but this can be complicated because we tend to be jaded in this area. We’ve lived long enough to be hurt, let down and rejected, leaving us with our hearts in pieces, stuck trying to put it back together again. This is a common experience in life because “hurt people hurt people.”
But in the midst of all this, Jesus has a genius idea! He teaches that Recess is to be experienced and enjoyed throughout our lives. The development of our relationships can bloom into mature places of grace, trust and sharing that transcends the cynical isolation to which so many people retreat. God made us to be with others! We need others just like Adam in the Garden of Eden. He was completely close to God yet still needed someone else, a “help-mate.” Not only did the creation of Eve lead to the first marriage, it also set the example that we need both God and people to fulfill the vision He has for us.
After talking about the greatest commandment from God, Jesus said in Matthew 22:39
“And the second is like to it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”Matthew 22:39
This is genius! It’s the forethought of God’s plan in us to use others for encouragement and life change along the way. It’s a puzzle that fits together to give strength to one another, dispelling the myth that we can do it alone. Together we make a beautiful picture. This is His way of getting us out of ourselves – by linking up with others to give and receive.
Consider the priority Jesus put on this commandment he listed it while discussing the greatest commandments from God! By following our mission to love God and love people, we will fulfill all of what the Bible asks of us. Think of that! When we love God and people, everything else follows.
However, our temptation is to want God’s favor without giving Him our heart. We tend to want promotion or to be a leader without building relationships with others. Our tendency to skip steps is a reflection of the gap we have in loving God and loving people. Regardless, this is what we are called to do.
The exclusive goal of recess is not to have a life of ease or play, but rather a life connected to others that plays, cries, connects and walks together in faith. From this place there are true riches revealed that will last for eternity; so what should we do?
First, give grace to yourself. Forgive yourself, realize that you don’t have it all. Admit that you need others. From this posture, you can become humble, receiving from others and listening to others. Remember, God gives grace to the humble.
Second, give grace to others. Forgive others. Realize you have hurt people, too. From this posture you won’t hold grudges, but instead you will move toward healing and reconciliation. Remember that God forgives us when we forgive others.
These two things are massive hurdles in our lives, yet they are essential for us embracing recess. It’s possible to fulfill His word by choosing to love God and love people!
Take your next step today and have recess! We are better together!
The best is yet to come,