The universe was created for play, joy, pleasure, reckless abandon. Go into the wild and observe the plants and animals at play, free of care. If not for sin and death, there would be no seriousness in the universe.
As blasphemous as it may sound, God is playful. We know by observing the things He created. They exist and were created for no other purpose but pure pleasure. He does not need anyone to toil for anything, He only wants us all to abandon ourselves into His care, like the flowers and birds Christ invites us to emulate.
Praise is playful. Unlike many in the old testament, David saw beyond the stringent laws and commandments to the playful heart of God. He is more at home with children than with adults, because they know how to play. God inhabits praises, not prayers or fasting.
David once danced before the Lord so excessively that His wife Michal despised him for shamelessly uncovering himself “like one of the vain fellows.” I love David’s response – “I will play before the Lord and will yet be more vile than thus.” He tapped into God’s heart of play the way no one had ever done. David was a man after God’s heart, a heart of play.
We were not designed for seriousness and anxiety but for play. Seriousness makes us lazy because it tires us out quickly. If you want to know how hard and creatively you can work, just make your work playful. You will need help to come out of it.
Seriousness comes from the perception that all is not well and we need to fend for ourselves. Playfulness is from the premise that all is well and there is a Father who takes care of us, who has given us infinitely more than we will ever need from now through eternity.
Recovering the art of unseriousness, the art of play, of praise, of worship, the art of abandon, of taking no thought for our lives makes our earthly existence much more colorful. There will be no prayer or fasting in eternity but unending and pure unseriousness. This is where we prepare for it.