There seems to be a time in our lives where manners dictate that we stop playing. No more hopscotch, kickball, tiddly winks, jacks and so many other childhood games that get left behind as children become adults. Am I telling my age?
Why is that? What’s wrong with playing? We live in a stressed out world. A car cuts you off in traffic and sometimes a one finger wave shoots back, a computer stops working correctly and the day is spent walking through fixes that never seem to work and the frustration mounts. Jobs, kids, even the weather all seem to stress people out these days.
And I wonder if we’d be a little less uptight if we took the time to play more and stress out less.
Do you remember the old playgrounds? The metal slides? We still have one in our town, I saw it the other day. How about the swings? Those tall swings with rubber seats. If you pump your legs hard enough and long enough you can almost fly! And the merry go rounds. The metal ones, painted with the colors of the rainbow, although those colors were often faded and rubbed off. Those things lasted forever!
What FUN to sit while someone pushed the giggling group around and around until you had spun fast enough and long enough to become dizzy. Then more giggling ensued.
Hopscotch. A game so simple really. A piece of chalk and a rock picked up from the road.
Bicycles with a playing card close pinned to the spokes. The wind blowing through your hair.
Games seemed simpler back then.
Today, rules seem to rule. No more metal merry-go-rounds. Too many people got hurt. Metal slides? Almost a thing of the past.
Helmets restrict the airflow, so no more breezy rides on your bike.
It seems we’re too concerned with rules, or maybe it’s more about keeping our kids safe than with letting them have some good old fashioned fun. There are many struggles in this world. Maybe as grown ups, we’re trying to stay busy so life can’t catch up with us. We hide behind the busy-ness so we can’t think. So we don’t have the time to struggle with our problems.
Maybe that’s it. We don’t want to struggle. Or we don’t want to face our struggles. And we don’t want to see our kids to struggle. I’m there with you. I hate seeing my kids have to face hard things. But, you know what? It builds character. And it makes them stronger to face the life God has for them.
Struggles build character in grown ups too. It makes us stronger.
Ultimately, these struggles. That car that cuts you off, the manager that treats you crummy, the rude clerk at the store, even that relationship that you believed to be something different than what it is, these things and so much more are all small potatoes. Temporary. Passing in a fleeting moment.
But God uses them to sanctify us, to propel us to Jesus Christ. And to show him, our Lord and Savior to this broken and dying world.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
2 Corinthians 4:17
Will you resolve with me to stop at the playground? Slide down that old metal slide. Take a swing and go high. Find someone to spin that merry go round. Get the chalk out and play. Stick a playing card in your spokes when you ride that fancy mountain bike. What? No clothespins? Dollar General sells them cheap.
We only have one life to live. Let’s live it to the fullest! Let’s glorify God by showing the world the JOY that can be found in the simple things.
I’m linking up with Kate and the gang at Five Minute Friday. The one word prompt this week is play.
I’ve been told that some of you are unable to leave comments. I think I have it fixed now. New theme.