I believe that every man needs and deserves some “recreation”.
Most of us, I believe, roll from one form of our ‘duty of state’ to another, with only the drive home and maybe a bathroom visit (sorry) that we can call our own.
The rest of our day is filled with home maintenance, our day job, volunteer work, helping with the kids, staying up on affairs of the world, our professional training, and maybe some physical exercise, and probably a part time job as well.
And if we have special needs children or teenagers (a special form of special needs child), and/or a wife who is overwhelmed with the pace of 21st century life, anything like free time is spent helping where we can.
<This is rambling, but stay with me>
Even Garcia Moreno, the Catholic Martyr of Ecuador allowed himself an hour a day of recreation.
“And the bow, if bent all the time, loses its ability to fire an arrow because it’s always drawn and tight.”
Recreation – or to ‘re create’ is meant to restore and repair us so that we can effectively fight again tomorrow.
But most men have no formal, regular form of recreation because they look at all their duties of state and the battle raging on all fronts, and walk back into the fire.
I believe that one of the healthiest things all of us could do is decide on, choose, and begin some form of regular even daily recreation.
Mowing the lawn, working in the garden or repairing the car doesn’t count! It’s just another one of our duties!
<Now here’s where I lose some people> But playing video games or watching movies, shows or another football game also doesn’t count!
I think it has to be something that we can do, and afterwards feel refreshed and at peace and with more energy to go back out to work tomorrow morning.
If you spend your day doing physical work, then drawing, painting, writing, reading, whittling, or any other non-productive activity is an amazing way to unwind at the end of the day – and all these activities are wife and child friendly.
And if you spend your day doing “knowledge work” like so many people – 8, 10, or 12 hours a day in front of a computer screen or in an office, then getting outside – to play a game of catch, or kickball, or just take a walk – one day for each child, and one for your wife – or anything that gives you 30 minutes of time to unwind – would be so beneficial.
There’s no time, of course, in anyone’s already crazy day to carve out 30 minutes for something so ‘useless’ as recreation.
But I’m convinced that if we did take 30 minutes a day – just for ourselves – to recreate – to “re create” – in a true manner that refreshes our bodies and souls – we would be more patient and more at peace – and good things would start to happen all over.
In His Sacred Heart,