Recreational Intimacy is about remembering, which we talked about a couple posts ago and today we'll see that it's also about reconnecting and resting.
This afternoon Ann and I went for a convertible ride. Beautiful summer day in the 80's. At the start of the ride we weren't so connected or restful. Ann worked and then went to a shower. I was home and she was a little later than I had thought. I texted her that I was going for a ride with the top down. I must confess I didn't have a great attitude towards her at the moment.
I was only about 8 miles out when she said she was headed home. Though, I didn't want to I found something underneath that to ask her if she'd like to join me. She said yes. So I turned around to get her. She was just about to settle in for a nap when I arrived home. Off we went.
We chatted some but mostly it was forced and surface talk. Gradually, we began to relax and the tension subsided. A big shift happened when I reached over to hold her hand. Even though at first her engagement ring stabbed me. Perhaps, I deserved it. :)
In our recreational time of riding two hours outdoors we spent time together, a good amount of time. We shared about our day but gradually began to share more about our feelings. All of these activities are linked with emotional intimacy too. We felt closer as the arid,disappointing corn fields passed on one side and the verdant green soy beans zizzed by on the other.
For us, the sights and smells of rural Missouri touch our souls close to home. There are memories of visits to grandparents, other farms and Ann's family land in southern Missouri. Recreation can foster a spiritual connection even as we merely tool down the road.
Our ride was also restful. As we talk about recreation know that we aren't talking about a work hard, play hard concept. A lack of rest is often one of the precursors to an affair or other blowout. Doing activities that are fun is a great way to rest our spirits and bodies and rejuvenate our relationships. A fair amount of fun needs to not be tied to an adrenaline rush to facilitate rest.
Eventually, on our ride we found ourselves relaxing and enjoying one another’s presence. We began to joke about sights we saw, enjoyed puppies by the road, told stories to one another and waved at Sam when we passed him on his afternoon bike ride.
I felt rested and recharged. I literally exhaled as we turned into the driveway. The exhale conveyed that the ride was exactly what I needed.
Isaiah 58:13 Paraphrase: Sabbath is to be a day of delight, joy and celebration.
Recreation doesn't always have to be on the Sabbath, but suspending 'business as usual' to enjoy life, each other and God applies to both recreation and Sabbath. A convertible ride provided a great lesson on that for me today.