Hobbies Shaped Me

Hobbies are a wonderful way to take a break from the usual grind of life. Wikipedia states that a hobby is a regular activity done for enjoyment typically during ones leisure time. Phyllis McGinley once said, “A hobby a day, keeps the doldrums away”. True to the word, hobbies rejuvenate us, make life interesting and deflect us from the mundane.

It takes discipline to push pause when so many things around us (Career, Ministry, Household work) scream for attention. God demonstrated the importance of rest (Gen: 2:3) and commands us to take care of our bodies (1 Cor 6:19,20) which includes our physical, mental and spiritual well being.

Hobbies are just one of the many ways we can do this, while connecting to Him and also developing a deeper relationship with Him as we pursue them.

My hobbies are interior designing, hairdo, vegetable carving, playing the guitar, singing, craftwork to cooking, reading, writing, quilling, blogging, silk thread jewelry making, calligraphy, ceramic carving, etc. My hobbies are many and have kept changing from time to time.

Lately, I’ve been quilling for about an year. I initially tried my hand at it with disinterest but my creative skills from the Lord wouldn’t let me stop. Quilling wallposters, cards, bands, earrings, etc attracted a lot of students to our home, where I taught them how to quill. It became a pattern for girl students to visit our home, chat and quill alongside me. This gave me room to share the gospel and win them for the Lord over a period of time.

My hobby of quilling different designer jewelry paved way for me to easily enter girls’ hostels and start GIGs (Groups investigating God). Since most girls are attracted to jewelry, students easily gathered in huge numbers, bought a few and also joined the Bible study thereafter. Quilling also helped me sell my work (online and off-line, make an income and help educate believing students hailing from a poor background. Quilling and developing a hobby together with students makes it more fun and makes us relate to them easily. It has also helped me drive my point through informal talks rather than formal ones.

Cooking and baking on the other hand have also served as excellent tools to relate with girls and boys alike in the ministry. Just being with them, adding the different spices into curries, letting them try their hand at my hobbies have helped. Mentoring has always happened during these times where I’ve let them learn my hobbies and vice versa.

With regard to hobbies, I have always asked myself whether it hinders or promotes my pursuit of Jesus Christ. God is certainly pleased when we pursue hobbies provided we don’t make idols of them.

Hobbies add spice to life and having varying kinds of hobbies develop you as an individual and also as a believer. Here are some ways hobbies benefit our lives.

  • Hobbies make you an interesting person, add hands on experience and help you share it with others.
  • They help relieve stress and calm your mind
  • Certain hobbies increase your patience (painting, sculpturing) as you develop skills while others keep your body fit (outdoor games)
  • Hobbies make you confident and increase your self esteem, improve mental alertness
  • Hobbies also make you socialize , both online and offline
  • Hobbies improve creativity and help in idea generation
  • Hobbies enable you to give back and bless others through you
  • They helps discover you inner talents
  • You can also make decent income out of a few hobbies

It is important to practice self control in our pursuit of hobbies as there are chances of hobbies turning into obsessions. The thumb rule of 1 Cor: 10:31 and Colossians: 3:17 of , “whatever you do, do it for the glory of God”, ought to be followed. Our hobbies should not be an escape from living under the Lordship of Christ. Kuyper once said, “There is not one inch in all of our human existence over which God does not cry, ‘MINE’”. As for me hobbies have moulded my character and have served to be a blessing to others too. So friends, take time and enjoy your hobbies, they are well worth it.

Sarah Susannah and her husband Anji are UESI Staffworkers in Uttarakhand
Sarah blogs at https://cyberchefsarah wordpress.com
FB Page on her hobbies (Quilling for sale)- https://www.facebook.com/Susiesboutique/

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