Watching kids in costume is great fun this time of year. Some dress as their heroes or what they want to be when they grow up. They play act as their character and become someone new. Maybe those who save the day with a cardboard sword, or leap into action to stop a crime, will one day use those dreams to help and serve their community.
Play-acting, or pretending, can be helpful. Children role-play with friends and practice heroism, bravery and leadership. They aspire to great things, becoming astronauts, super heroes and fire fighters. We see this in the animal world, too, babies learn adult skills while at play. Lion cubs pounce and wrestle with each other but are developing hunting techniques. Puppies learn socialization as they compete for mother’s milk.
Not just for kids, I can practice as an adult, hoping to become what I rehearse - being kind when I don’t feel like it or moving forward when I’m afraid, looking more courageous than I feel. I love my neighbor, not because I want to at the time, yet hoping it grows to genuine desire and maturity in time. I pray my actions will become habit, and that will lead to character and a truly changed heart. I want to want to do the right thing. So I practice, with the help of the Holy Spirit. I want to be the best version of me that God designed, both inside and out.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7