Play needs no purpose. That is why play can go on and on as long as players find it meaningful. After all, we do not dance in order to get somewhere. We dance around and around. A piece of music doesn’t come to an end when its purpose is accomplished. It has no purpose, strictly speaking. It is the playful unfolding of a meaning that is there in each of its movements, in every theme, every passage: celebration of meaning. Pachelbel’s Canon is one of the magnificent superfluities of life. Every time I listen to it, I realize anew that some of the most superfluous things are the most important for us because they give meaning to our human life. We need this kind of experience to correct our worldview.
Too easily are we inclined to imagine that God created this world for a purpose. We are so caught up in purpose that we would feel more comfortable if God shared our preoccupation with work. But God plays. The birds in a single tree are sufficient proof that God did not set out with a divine no-nonsense attitude to make a creature that would perfectly achieve the purpose of a bird. The purpose of a bird. What could that purpose be I wonder? There are titmice, juncos, and chickadees; woodpeckers, gold finches, starlings and crows. The only bird never created is the no-nonsense bird. As we open our eyes and hearts to God’s creation, we quickly perceive that God is playful, a God of leisure.

 

 

Gratefulness, the
Heart of Prayer
by Brother David Steindl-Rast
more quotations may be found here on Kairos Spiritual Formation Quotes page
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