Recreation Leads to Recreation

The other day, several of my siblings were discussing a Christian instrumental album they had been listening to.  “I really like the song Rec-re-a-tion,” one of them said.  They continued to discuss the album and his sister commented, “I think my favorite song is Re-cre-a-tion.”  It turns out they liked the same song (hear it here), but they pronounced the name differently: Rec-reation and Re-creation are spelled the same.

Along the Highline Trail just below Haystack Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana
Along the Highline Trail just below Haystack Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana

When I looked up the word “recreation”, Google wanted to find all kinds of fun things for me to do.  The word has come to mean having a good time, relaxing, often outside or in a sport or outdoorsy sort of way.  One of the first web results was recreation.gov which is the overarching website for the national park service, national forest service, army corp. of engineers, etc. that allows you to reserve campsites, obtain permits and reserve advance tickets for tours, and find places to do all kinds of rec-reational activities.

Volcanoes from the Cloud Cap Campground, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon
Volcanoes from the Cloud Cap Campground, Mount Hood National Forest, Oregon

Yet the word originally stems from a Latin word “recreare”: to create again, to renew.  The word originally meant to be made new.  Thus our word “re-creation”, or to create something again; to make it new.

Wildflowers below Siyeh Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana
Wildflowers below Siyeh Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana

The truth is that the point of rec-reation is to re-create us: to renew us after work, to help us to relax.  Especially in this day of constant demands and constant pressure to work, it’s important to remember that re-creation and renewal is important and rec-reation is one way to achieve that.

A scull on the Erie Canal, Pittsford, New York
A scull on the Erie Canal, Pittsford, New York

God created us to work and to rest.  He works and He rests.  He created ways for us to work hard – He put Adam in the garden to tend it even before the fall of mankind (Genesis 2:15).  He also created healthy ways for us to relax and rest – to have rec-reation to create re-creation.

Chillaxing in Electric Pass, White River National Forest, Colorado
Chillaxing in Electric Pass, White River National Forest, Colorado

It’s also little wonder that the outdoorsy-types of rec-reation have become known by that name.  Being out in the world God created re-creates us in a way no other place can.  After a long day typing away on a computer and staring at the screen, it’s re-creating to go rec-reate in a local park or garden.  It’s soothing and revitalizing to work with the ground that God infused with the ability to grow plants, study a wildflower delicately made, or walk along the shore of a stream, lake, or ocean and feel the great peace or wild abandonment of the current weather on the water.

Sunset at Holden Beach, North Carolina
Sunset at Holden Beach, North Carolina

It’s rec-reation, but it’s also re-creation of our hearts to be quiet and still before our God.