Lessons from the Playground

We just got home from a self-imposed family morning, a refreshing reprieve from a crazy and overly full week.  We woke up leisurely – well, as leisurely as you can with a 15-month-old – and played for a bit before we headed to get a bite to eat.  On many Saturday mornings we find ourselves at a country gas station-and-grill for a delicious hot breakfast (my urban roots are disappearing more every year I live here).  After a way-too-big breakfast and people watching with lots of camo involved, we headed into town to a park with a great playground for Titus to explore and roam.

This park is very well designed and has several very unique pieces of play equipment.  Like the mature 30 year olds that we are, Michael and I took turns chasing Titus and playing on the equipment ourselves.  I laughed as Michael lost his balance from spinning around on topsy-turvy spinner, and Titus cracked up as I swung on the swing next to him.

One thing struck me as we were enjoying our not-so-youthfulness this morning.  When I was a child, playing on the playground was fun and exhilarating.  Nothing was off limits and nothing caused me to pause before trying it.  This morning, far removed from the last time I explored a playground, I found myself nervous enough to have to work up courage before I tried each activity.  I didn’t want to swing higher because my stomach started feeling uneasy (I don’t think I can blame a heavy breakfast), I didn’t want to try to balance on the spinner right off the bat, and once I did I was nervous about how I would get off.  Things that came easy as a child now cause me to pause as an adult.

In a moment of clarity I realized what a perfect parallel this is to my faith.  As a child it was easy to talk about things of faith – finding God in everyday moments and encounters and sharing about it with reckless abandon.  As an adult, though, I hesitate.  I have conversations in my head before shutting down the notion.  “Share my faith? What if they are offended?  What will they think about me?  I don’t want to ruin our friendship.”

Earlier this week I was teaching our New Believer’s Class for Kids at Harris Creek.  We were talking about the roles God calls us to as Christians, and we played a game called “Telling Others.”  As each child moved their game piece along the board, the spaces they landed on had a scenario from everyday life they might find themselves in.  Before the next person could go, the child had to share a way they could tell others about God in that setting.  Sometimes the answers they gave were simple and straightforward, but other times they came up with elaborate ways to share God’s love and story with others through action and conversation.  It didn’t take lots of thinking and deep contemplation – it poured out of them naturally.

My challenge to each of you this week is to find ways to share God’s story of love and redemption with someone you encounter this week.  Don’t overthink it.  Don’t hesitate because you are worried about your reputation.  Just let His Story pour out of you with reckless abandon.

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