rebelling against low expectations

Rebelutionary, Don’t Forget to Have Fun

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A few years ago, I wrote an article for TheReb called “Rebelutionary, Don’t Forget to Be A Kid.” Then life went on, and I forgot about it. Recently, I was talking with a fellow Rebelutionary, encouraging him to delight in God and enjoy life.

“Life is not just about having fun. But fun is part of life.”

Due to different life circumstances, we both had to grow up too soon, and somewhere in the mix we forgot how to laugh and be silly and be God’s children. Yet it doesn’t matter how old we get — we will never outgrow being God’s children. When you know that you don’t have to take care of everything, when you get to rely on someone else (like God), it gives you the freedom to just be. To delight in God and to delight in the wholesome fun He gifts us.

That conversation brought my original article to mind. In it, I share the importance of being a kid, and how that is glorifying to God, and it’s possible to do, even when suffering or responsibilities or hard things mean we need to be mature. Maturity and childlikeness can go hand in hand.

But how do we do this? Today, I want to share four practical ways Rebelutionaries can live out remembering to be a kid.

1. Surrender Control

Sometimes, I feel like curling up in a ball and hiding from the world, because growing up and suddenly being responsible for so much is overwhelming. We’re making huge life decisions and trying to figure out how to support ourselves in the next season of life and starting to stand on our own two feet.

But one way we get to be a kid whether we’re a teenager or an eighty-year-old is by surrendering control to God. Instead of trying to make every single detail fit into place perfectly, we get to say, “Father, I’m worried about this and this and this. Will You help me?” That doesn’t eliminate responsibilities, but it lifts so much of the burden, and we get to walk more freely . . . or maybe even skip. Or run.

“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31

2. Stop Taking Yourself So Seriously

Being wild all the time isn’t glorifying to God. But laughter and fellowship and pizza and trying to act out chimpanzees in charades (looking at you, John David), is glorifying to God. Like David the king of Israel, let’s be undignified for God’s glory.

Like David the king of Israel, let’s be undignified for God’s glory. Click To Tweet

I’ve gotten to learn this as a Young Life leader. So often the way I am able to connect with the students I’m trying to share the gospel with is by humbling myself to the point where I make a fool of myself getting pied in the face or awkwardly fumbling through the lingo.

But kids don’t care. They laugh and splash in puddles and ask “why?” when those of us who are older would be mortified. Through that, they learn. Let’s stop taking ourselves so seriously, and instead take love seriously. Love that is uncomfortable and embarrassing.

3. Ask Questions

Another way we get to practice being kids again is by asking questions and seeking advice. Kids don’t know everything. They don’t know a lot of things — that’s part of the beauty of being human and getting to grow.

Kids understand — however reluctantly — that some things are for grownups and that there are certain people in their life who will explain things to them, like parents or siblings. My brother was always known as the “question asker” but while my parents struggled to explain why the sky was blue to his satisfaction, my brother and I learned so much.

Now that I’m older, my questions are a lot bigger and more complex, but asking for advice is a way for me to be humble and to cherish the gifts of experience and wisdom of those who have walked on this earth longer than I have. One way to embrace your childlikeness is to cultivate relationships with the older men and women in your community.

4. Have Fun

God created pleasure. He gave the ability to see, taste, smell, hear, and feel. He created us with emotions and bodies and He created flowers and creativity and laughter. No, we should not make it our whole purpose in life to have fun. God created us for so much more than that, and our purpose is to glorify Him and delight in Him.

But you know what? A big part of worshipping Him is having fun.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!” Psalm 34:8

One of the ways we glorify Him is by embracing fun. God instilled celebrations and feasts into the Jewish culture. Jesus participated in those ceremonies and social events.

When we celebrate and enjoy what He has made and who He has created us to be and the gifts He has given us, we are glorifying Him. When we enjoy His gifts, we have an opportunity to point those around us to Him. We are living out the purpose He created us with.

So, roll down a grassy hill, delight in some music, or play a board game. Be a kid, teenager. It can be a hard thing too, and it does, in fact, glorify God.


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About the author

Sara Willoughby

is the 20-year-old author of He's Making Diamonds: A Teen's Thoughts on Faith Through Chronic Illness. She loves to read, write, and have adventures, be it off to Narnia one more time, wading through mud chasing the family dog, or playing a new board game with her two younger siblings. Sara is also a Lymie, TCK, and Bright Lights leader. You can find her at sgwilloughby.com

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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →