Praise the LORD from the earth,
you creatures of the ocean depths.
Psalm 148 summons all creation to praise the Lord: heavens, angels, sun, moon, clouds, weather, mountains, trees, animals, and all sorts of human beings. Verse 7 invites “creatures from the ocean depths” to praise God.
Now, I realize that this is not meant in a literal way, as if whales and sharks and dolphins might all of a sudden start singing God’s praises. But, as I was wondering about how sea creatures might praise the Lord, I remembered an event that happened eight years ago.
My daughter, Kara, was working on a school project on grey whales. The timing of her project was such that it was possible for her actually to see grey whales as they migrated along the coast of Southern California. So, our family went out on a whale watching trip. We spent two hours with an expert guide, looking for whales, but without any luck. The company guaranteed whale sightings, however, so we were able to take a second trip for free. Once again, no whales. But this time we saw dolphins, hundreds of dolphins, many playing in the wake of our ship. They were jumping, flying, flipping, and frolicking. It was an amazing sight.
I don’t suppose that these dolphins were thinking about God as they played that day. But God was glorified as they used their natural abilities, their God-given abilities to play. No, I’m not making this up. Psalm 104:26 refers to “Leviathan, which you made to play in the sea.” When large sea creatures jump out of the water just for fun, they are doing that for which they were created. They are praising God through play.
Scripture teaches that we were made for work. Surely, we glorify God when we use our abilities to do good work. But we were also made to play, to run and jump, to dance, and to laugh. Perhaps we too can glorify God when we play, delighting in his creation, offering ourselves to him in all that we do, in work and in rest, in prayer and in play.QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: What do you think about praising God through play? When could play honor God? When might play be dishonoring to God? Are there types of play that are more worshipful than others?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, you have made me in your image. You have created me to work, even as you work. You have recreated me in Christ for good works that you have prepared for me. All of this is true, and I thank you for it.
But you have also made me with a capacity for play. May I discover how to offer you myself, not only in work and obvious worship, but also in play. May my laughter reflect and increase your delight. May my play be praise for you, dear Lord. Amen.
Here’s how . . . .
This devotional comes from The High Calling: Everyday Conversations about Work, Life, and God (www.thehighcalling.org). You can read my Daily Reflections there, or sign up to have them sent to your email inbox each day. This website contains lots of encouragement for people who are trying to live out their faith in the workplace. The High Calling is associated with Laity Lodge, where I work.