“Do you ever play?”
Cliff’s question irked me.
For years, I was addicted to work. Over time, it strained our relationship.
I hated to admit- that “play” felt laden with guilt.
Recently, when my triathlon bike tyre burst repeatedly, we discovered its wheels were too old.
I left the bike shop, tears in my eyes, knowing how costly replacements would be. Deep down, I felt undeserving to replace them. “Maybe God wants me to stop.”
“You have a self-worth issue,” Cliff called me out.
“God,” I said, as I snapped a photo of the price tag of new wheels to mark our conversation, “You know I won’t spend on this. If You want me to continue, would you make it explicit— either by sending a gift of wheels or providing funds specifically for this?” The price tag stated $1999.
What I didn’t know – was that very afternoon, BEFORE I’d shared it on social media, a message from a stranger lay in my inbox- “I’m about to transfer a gift- for whatever you’d like to have but are thinking twice.”
I discovered- the sum was $2000. 😭
I wept. While I’d driven myself hard to earn the approval of God and man, God showed me how much He values play and… me. 😭
Looking back, it was through googling “Christian triathlete,” through trying to decipher spiritual meaning in what I worried was a frivolous hobby— that God gifted to me the playmate of my life.
As I shared my story, crying, struggling to fathom and receive the gift, I read the gifter’s reply, “Your story affirms what I was sensing. I’m so encouraged at how precise God is to us. I wish I cld give you a big HUG and cry with you.”
Do you believe God is a loving Father, not a hard taskmaster? That He values us not because of what we do, but for who we are?
As hard as it might be to imagine, play is a key part of who God is- when Adam and Eve were made, He gave them a garden, not a factory.
If you, like me, are often too hard on yourself, would you glorify God through play and accept His lavish goodness? For, in Piper’s words, He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. 💛
*God provided far more affordable wheels eventually, but gifted to me the discovery of my value in Him- priceless.