Last week on the podcast, I shared my word of the year for 2024: fun. As usual, this word has many “satellite” words that accompany it, including childlike, trust, freedom, joy, play, etc. In my prayer, I’ve come to see that there are countless ways this word can guide me this year, and I can’t wait to see what God does with it, and with me!

Of course, my eyes are now peeled for anything (spiritual or not) that alludes to fun, and when I stumbled upon this YouTube video from Fr. Columba Jordan, CFR, I had no idea just how relevant it would be. The video is called “How to be a good loser.”

I highly recommend the video in its eight-minute entirety, but here are a few quick reflections on what Fr. Columba said:

First, the reason we often take things so seriously and lack lightheartedness is because of our ego and our pride. “I can’t mess up,” “I don’t want to lose,” “What if this fails?” – these questions consume us because we are acting from a place of needing to prove ourselves and our value, therefore the “fun” can be sucked out of many of our efforts.

Second, sin (and Satan) are so serious. It is kind of funny because one might assume the devil is a little trickster, but in reality, his ego is so big that he cannot joke or tease. St. Philip Neri even said, “If Satan appears to you, tell him a joke.” It makes sense – when we feel safe, comfortable, and loved, it’s much easier to tell jokes and tease, but when we are feeling threatened or defensive, those quips go out the window. I see it all the time at work: when the team is gelling well and we’re doing good work, it’s far easier for us to joke around, which begets the positive and upward cycle of fun and friendship. When things start going off the rails, we get serious, and there’s less space for mistakes, questions, or failure.

Third, Fr. Columba’s invitation is twofold: try to lose, and get into play mode. When we release the expectations we have of ourselves to be the best and “win,” it’s far easier to experience the joy, freedom, and fun that God wants us to live in the present. I love a board game, but I am competitive. When I’m losing, I can start getting a little grumpy. But I love the idea of trying to lose – the invitation to hold a game a little more loosely and enjoy the time more. This leads to “getting into play mode,” which is basically my goal for 2024. How can what I’m doing be more fun? How can I live with total trust in the Father who loves me and cares for me and provides everything I need, so that I’m free to laugh and joke and play?

It also brought to mind Matthew 11:28-30: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Could it be that we are laboring and heavy-laden because we are taking things too seriously, claiming that it all depends on us, and if we fail, everything will crumble? I’ve heard this scripture hundreds of times, but it wasn’t until prayer this morning that the words “humble of heart” stood out to me so vividly. Humility frees us from the burdens, the pressures, and the stress of self-sufficiency. We can rest in God, trust in Him, and have a little fun in the freedom we find in His goodness.

In Fr. Columba’s own words, “I give God way more glory when I’m having fun,” which I think is so dang true! Joy, lightheartedness, freedom, and fun – how can we glorify God in our daily lives this week, by taking things (and ourselves) a little less seriously?

I hope you’re able to watch the video at some point, and please let me know how you’re aiming to have fun this week!

                                       video preview

In Christ,

Jane


Prayer requests

  • For a special intention
  • For a friend walking through heartbreak
  • For all those who are sick

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Jane Kennedy

Jane Kennedy

Jane was born in Australia, raised in California, and is overjoyed to now call NYC home. She graduated from UCSB with degrees in Political Science and Communication and spent the past two years working in criminal justice reform. She is currently an MBA student at NYU Stern, focusing on entrepreneurship and strategy.

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