In one of the philosophy class that has happened almost 2 years ago, Dr Johnson Puthenpurackal OFMcap spoke of the difference between game and play. Probably most of us would use it in the same manner and interchangeably. He differentiates in this way. ‘Play’ is what is played by the children. It is spontaneous, innovative and doesn’t necessarily follow any of our established logic. There is joy and happiness in that; it is more than winning, but playing. ‘Game’ is what is played by the adults. There are definitive rules. One team/person wins and others lose the game. More than playing, victory is important.
It is ridiculous (probably as I understand) to say that one is good and one is bad. But as we grow up, from being being a child to a adult, we migrate from play to game. We may or may not playing in the ground, but our life becomes a game (and less a play). We live the life (win many honours, and forget to enjoy the life). I saw an extremely beautiful video, which speaks a little bit about play.
The smallest girl in the video plays with Jesus (doll). Others act in the skit. More than saying one is right or wrong, I would say act of the girl is more spontaneous, genuine and authentic. It is with her full being. It is definitely not taught by anybody.
An invitation in this Christmas through that girl is to become more child-like and to enjoy the life, to be more spontaneous and genuine than manipulated and selfish. Girl probably invites us not just to see Jesus in the manger or to adore him, but to steal him away and to play with him.