i read an interesting article this morning in USA today about the importance of "playing" during these difficult, economic times. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-03-23-play-stress_N.htm its interesting to me, and confirmation, that a lot of depression creeps up on people when they do not have an "out" from their everyday way of life. now don't get me wrong, but some people are wired in such a way that they do not need extracurricular activities outside their job and family. one reason this is the case, i believe, is that they get their fulfillment from those things. they love their job and they look forward to being with their family. in a perfect world this would be the case. however, how many people get little to no satisfaction from their job? their job is exactly what it is....a job. it's also sad to say that there are a lot of people who dread going home every day. though it is certainly a shame, it still is a reality. people don't get along with their spouses and their children drive them up the wall.
so....with all that being said, i think that for some people, play time is important. it relieves the stress from their lives and takes them away from reality for just a moment. possibly the very moment that relieves hypertension, depression, and the every day stress that life has to offer. even though this might be of a more adult piece of conversation, the report (article) also says that sex (more importantly romance) can be a refuge to help couples combat stress and depression. it goes on to say that couples are essentially freeing themselves and relaxing when they allow for sexual intimacy in their lives.
nevertheless, i hope that we never get caught up in the every day stress of life to the point that it takes us away from the playful things that get our endorphins going. most of us still forget that Jesus said, "i have come to give you life, and give to you more abundantly." that essentially means life to the fullest. i hope to not be one dimensional in my life. i believe that god has given us these good pleasures for a reason and that they are meant to be rehabilitating if you will. they are definitely not meant to take the place of god and what he himself has to offer. he is the one that gives the abundant life. however, i do believe that the wonderful things of life are a bi product of his grace and love for us to enjoy. not to take the place of, but to remind us of the generosity that he gives to each of us.