I sit while the bullets of nerf guns whirl around my head. Five boys and one girl ages 17 to 12 (mostly older) run from room to room. In and out doors even though the temperature is below freezing outside.
My youngest boy hates the thought of growing up. He turned 17 yesterday. He still walks the perimeter of our property many mornings with his wooden swords stuck in his army surplus belt.
I fear children no longer live in simplicity. They’re too busy trying to survive life with parents that have divorced, or maybe never married. Drugs on the playground and confusion over what constitutes sexual relations.
Instead of a simplified life, they’re dealing with adult issues at an age where innocence used to linger Childhood robbed for many.
My boy and I sat down a few days ago and talked. I assured him that it was perfectly okay to play with nerf guns and legos for many more years if he chooses.
This doesn’t mean he’s ignorant or innocent. He’s been cautiously exposed to some horrors of life. This is partly why I encouraged him to continue to be a kid. There’s enough ugly in the world to last a lifetime, playing when you’re 17 37 or 70 will keep a part of you carefree and young.
As I sit now, in near silence, the guns and legos have been put away. Except I know I will find the land mines later. I vow not to fuss because those landmines won’t be on our floor forever. The last boy is nearly out the door and I realize how blessed I am to be able to give my kids a simple life and even more how blessed my kids have been to have one.
(I cheated and added the following later. There was more that needed to be said).
How I wish we could turn back the hands of time to simplify our lives. To the days when once you married it was for life. Where childhood offenses included chewing bubblegum in class. Yes, I know nothing is new under the sun and even in the “good ole days” babies were born out of wedlock and abused occurred. It truly saddens my heart to watch these children. These children created in the image of God so marred by the effects of sin.
I am reminded of a story that Corrie Ten Boom told as she travelled after the war. If I remember correctly, his suitcases were packed sitting near the door of his shop on afternoon. She asked her daddy something that day that was too adult for her. In reply he asked her to go move one of his suitcases. After letting her struggle with it for a few minutes he called her and explained that some things in life were like that suitcase. Too much for her to carry.
So many of the storms children face today are way to heavy for them. The only solution is to teach them about Jesus. He is strong enough to carry the suitcases they can’t budge.