Week 5 Day 7: Create

Question: Book yourself a play date. What did you do?

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Transcript of Video:

I often find that I get to play in the monastic life when I’m meditating on Scripture, because I find there’s a playfulness to the poetry, to the images, to everything that’s there. My favorite play image is actually the Creation of the world. In Genesis there are two accounts. There’s a story of God by fiat or by word, creating things in this very magisterial kind of way. But it’s followed by a second line in which I find God is in the cosmic sandbox if you will. There’s the ground with the moisture rising up below and beginnings of vegetation, and God playing with the red earth, making the first “earth being.” I can see God delighting in it – delighting in it like a small child in the sandbox, having created something that they’ve never made before.

In a recent retreat that we had, our community retreat, Br. Luke, invited us to play and passed on to us some homemade clay. I’ve had a wonderful time playing and being the Creator God by creating an earth being out of clay and then breathing into it the breath of life. Perhaps that’s an image for your Lent as well: to play. To allow yourself to be molded as clay. But also to play, yourself, as the creator God.

-Br. Jonathan Maury


  1. Janet on April 10, 2019 at 15:18

    Recently: music at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Art at the MFA. Yoga is always a play date for me.

  2. Carney on April 7, 2019 at 07:23

    Went on my first hike in the woods with my husband after shoulder surgery 5 weeks ago. We enjoyed beautiful Tennessee wild flowers. It was a renewel of sorts for both of us.

  3. Brenda on April 4, 2019 at 11:57

    Went to my grandson’s 3 year old birthday party and played on the floor and in the canoe with the 11 month grandson at the party.

  4. Gwedhen Nicholas on April 4, 2019 at 11:06

    I journaled, which is always like play to me. It is fun to see what comes up during my time doing this, and I generally learn something interesting about my life and about God.

  5. Lissa Davis on March 27, 2015 at 11:14

    I have an entire weekend when I can stay home. That’s a play date in itself. If it doesn’t rain (this is Oregon ya know) I’m planning to play in the yard and walk my dogs.

  6. Lisa on March 24, 2015 at 09:50

    I have a wonderful, long play date coming up with my 7 month old grandson! I look forward to immersing myself in his world.

    This play series has been the most important offering you have provided during Lent. It has me stirring….Thank you!

  7. Susan Dredge on March 24, 2015 at 06:54

    What a lovely idea. I have actually never thought of “allowing” myself a play date. This is one for a great deal of thought and prayer. Something to really plan to enjoy soon.

  8. Marta e. on March 24, 2015 at 01:01

    I think that “play” for adults s different than for children, but for both stages of life, play can nclude athletic activities, sports, the arts, intellectual challenge and achievement, and relaxation.
    So, I try to go to the gym 1-2 times per week, “practice” (play) the piano a few times a week, read and study, and enjoy the light and. Views from my home overlooking the hills and forest, drinking a cup of tea. To more fully relax, I participate in tai chi exercises 1-2 times per week, and in the evenings “veg” out in front of the TV, watching “don Mateo” , mystery stories about a Roman Catholicriest or Father Brown. Occasionally, I take deep naps in the afternoons, if my energy requests it, but not always. I would rather be playing with my grandchildren but they have moved cross-country, so I have to. Wait for telephone calls to catch up with what they are doing regarding school, neighborhood activities, etc.

  9. Louise on March 23, 2015 at 20:27

    I’ve been trying harder these days to accompany my husband on walks (instead of cycling on my own) or to garage sales or just on errands. It seemed we were doing more and more things independently…and that was drawing us apart. Playing together seems to be helping that situation.

  10. Fred on March 23, 2015 at 16:25

    Hard to do!

  11. Polly Ledyard on March 23, 2015 at 16:01

    I have been walking, as often as possible with a friend, with whom I can share the experience and catch up onwhat is close to her heart, and share what is close to mine.

  12. Terri on March 23, 2015 at 09:31

    My play date was with my husband over the weekend. We walked to our local library and browsed along the many shelves of books. As usual, I came home with two more books to read this week.

  13. Karen on March 23, 2015 at 02:37

    Ride a bike, walk through a local nature preserve, draw and color.

  14. Craig on March 22, 2015 at 20:59

    I have a play date about three times a week. Its my Karate class. Yes I am working hard and learning and teaching and sweating and bruising, but when I stop to think of why I do it, its because I think of it as play.
    I also do a sword class, where we get to try to hit each other with sticks. exactly what I wanted to play as a kid but parents wouldn’t let us.

  15. Margaret Drumm on March 22, 2015 at 00:38

    ping pong. I forget how much I enjoy ping pong, badminton and tennis because I never take the time anymore.

  16. Christine white on March 21, 2015 at 21:40

    I really enjoyed making a collage at Brother Luke’s workshop on play so that’s what I would do.

  17. NA on March 21, 2015 at 20:35

    This week seemed to have me on the go more than usual, so I definitely could use a play date. I think that tomorrow will include making a wind chime out of old 50’s cookie cutters and a part I saved after the demise of an elderly Sunbeam mixer. The dangly bits will be a wholly impractical plastic cookie cutter set my grandmother picked up in the 1950’s when my mother was a young teen. The mixer part is part of a stand mixer that was old when I got it at Goodwill for $10, right before I got married. Both made many cookies over the years in the hands of my family. I’ve never made a wind chime before, but that is part of the fun. I can’t be hung up on results because I have no clue what I am doing! Thus, I am not at all sure how the thing will turn out, but it will be fun to see and also give me a unique way to preserve the cookie making legacy.

  18. Sophfronia on March 21, 2015 at 19:56

    I like to have what I call “creativity playdates” and it just so happens I do have one scheduled for tomorrow after church. I’m going into Manhattan to see the one-woman play, “Josephine and I” at the Public Theatre. I will post the results when I return.

  19. Patricia on March 21, 2015 at 18:38

    Yesterday was my play day. I drove to the art museum by myself (couldn’t find anyone to go with me but decided I could be my own best friend) for a display of floral designs inspired by great art. I moved slowly through the museum and studied all 45 displays and the art which inspired them. And, then, I bought myself a chocolate hazelnut latte and 2 Raspberry Linzer cookies — ahh, decadence!

  20. Susan Zimmeman on March 21, 2015 at 17:13

    Run….or swim

  21. Muriel Akam on March 21, 2015 at 14:15

    When I was a child my younger sister and I had a lot of playing ‘make believe’ and with our dolls and toys. We also enjoyed playing with clay moulding figures and later making rag dolls etc. Then we progressed to painting watercolours , knitting, sewing etc. Now I play with my grandson, perhaps he is my ‘playdate’. He really loves spending time with me making up stories, playing pirates and I feel I have created something with fun.

  22. Randy Ruffin on March 21, 2015 at 13:31

    So far my day has been filled with changing beds, laundry and vacuuming – plus walking the dog. But it’s a gorgeous day and I’ll sooon go outside and “play” in the garden – letting the chickens out and getting some more brown oak leaves out of my garden, when the daffodils are growing apace. Tonight I’ll see if there’s a good movie to watch on TV!

  23. KathyB on March 21, 2015 at 12:45

    Thanks for the permission! Sad that I need it. Calls to mind a recent retreat at SSJE and there was clay available to use – I spent a delightful hour creating!
    For today, I’m not sure exactly what I’ll do on my playdate, but I’ll be doing it this afternoon. The schoolwork can WAIT – I need the refreshment.

  24. Catleen on March 21, 2015 at 12:40

    When I see photos of or TV shows about unusual flowers, animials and insects, especially those of great beauty or with “unusual appendages”, I tend to think of God at play during the creation. I’ve often said to my husband, God was really having fun when he made that.

    My play dates are usually trying new restaurants with long time friends or new acquaintances. It gives me a chance to get to know people better, to let some new people into my life and open my world to new experiences. There is a sense of wonder associated with trying new foods, such as the beautiful and tasty watermelon radish that I experienced for the first time last week. Or, in viewing a beautiful plating of familiar foods and being surprised by how different spices affect their taste. These experiences bolster my curiosity . confidence and willingess to try new recipes which I can share on a different play date, cooking with my husband, which we are enjoying more and more.

  25. Lisa T on March 21, 2015 at 12:26

    I am refreshed by Brother Jonathan’s suggestion that I/we allow ourselves to be molded as clay AND to play, ourselves, as the Creator God, building out of clay (music,
    paint, a museum visit, or whatever else we choose) and breathing into it the breath of life.
    This “breathing into” is exactly what I experience when I am lost, outside my(ego)self, yet fully present making masks for theatres and churches. Focusing on the emerging shape, I feel empty inside, cleared out, an open space through which swirls the creative breath of God:
    I am a conduit for God to move through my heart and hands into the face staring back at me.
    And later worn, the mask and I breathe life into each other
    a constant spiral of two merging into one, one separating into two.
    I feel this “breathing into” also while listening to music, absorbed in a book, or walking beside the ocean.
    Thank you, Brother Jonathan, for opening up to me/us the “both-and” of Creation.

    • Lisa T on March 21, 2015 at 12:34

      This should have read, “And later worn, the mask and those who wear it” as I am not the mask’s only wearer! L.

  26. Verlinda on March 21, 2015 at 11:31

    My play dates often involve decorating for holidays–it brings out my inner child! I love to do paper crafting (making cards, altering books, etc.) and I really love to color!

    Another kind of play date for me is working word games/puzzles, or actually going to a playground and swinging!

  27. Bob on March 21, 2015 at 11:23

    My daughter and me just dressed up and created a 3 minute video show for her history project. Lights! Camera! Action!

    • Margaret Drumm on March 22, 2015 at 00:37

      What a great idea!

  28. Roderic Brawn on March 21, 2015 at 10:02

    I like to get together with friends to make some music and entertain others. As I play the trumpet, perhaps with piano, bass, clarinet, trombone… then we have a magical creative experience.

  29. JGlow on March 21, 2015 at 09:35

    Someone at work asked me if I could still skip like a child. “No it makes my knees hurt,” I replied. Our facility has a bridge between two buildings and we are encouraged to go there during the day to walk. I thought I was alone so I decided to try skipping for one small section. Someone saw me from a distance and immediately paged me. We had the best laugh. I believe it is impossible to feel sad/burdened when skipping like a child. Now I need to find a sturdy swing set!

  30. Nicki on March 21, 2015 at 09:27

    I’m going to Vermont to join my brother’s family, to celebrate his 90th birthday. There will be play all day long.

  31. Kenneth Knapp on March 21, 2015 at 08:45

    My “play dates” recently have involved just finding a winding country road and driving it.

  32. Tracy on March 21, 2015 at 08:44

    I’m currently playing with a calligraphy pen – if I get good enough I’ll use it – if not I’ve loved the stillness & playfulness that is involved in practising.

  33. Karen on March 21, 2015 at 08:20

    I’m spending a weekend with friends.

  34. Michael on March 21, 2015 at 08:20

    The question doesn’t hold that much meaning for me. I have often shaken my head at the notion of a “play date” It feels similar to making an appointment to breathe

  35. Page on March 21, 2015 at 07:51

    Love it adults having playdates.

  36. Tom on March 21, 2015 at 07:39

    The image of being molded as clay, but also playing and molding the clay, is so powerful. I need to remember that in being created by God, I have also been given the shared responsibility to be a creator, and that creativeness is part of who I am. When I ignore that call to play (“too much work to accomplish”), I am ignoring God’s call to share in the creation. Odd, but I find myself more impelled to play knowing that it is God’s expectation than by any possibility that I may find enjoyment. That is a bit sad too … but I am striving to learn again how to play.

  37. Elspeth on March 21, 2015 at 07:34

    Today i think I will buy some play dough for both my grandchildren and for me. I will also try to sing and even perhaps skip on my morning walk.

  38. Sarah Acland on March 21, 2015 at 07:05

    Just now this one is hard. I really need a play date. Somehow lately my life has become very silted up. I may have to work on getting a play date!

  39. Linda H. on March 21, 2015 at 07:05

    I’m either going to go see grandson Eriks improv contest or play in the garden and garage for the first time this year. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  40. Mark on March 21, 2015 at 07:04

    Im unable to perform this

  41. Agatha Nolen on March 21, 2015 at 06:37

    A “play date” for me almost always involves music, nature or photography. In music and nature, I’m still the child, consuming the beautiful sounds and sights that God has made and delighting in them. With photography, I feel a bit more “creator”. The camera allows me to “freeze my eye” and see things that I missed in our busy world; I feel like I’m God’s instrument in capturing his beauty for others.

    • Polly Ledyard on March 23, 2015 at 15:58

      my outdoor play usually involves walking, and these days looking for signs of spring

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