It isn't unusual to see 10-20 boys playing outside our home on any afternoon. It doesn't matter if it is 100 or 32 degrees outside...They play. Kickball, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Soccer, Wiffle Ball, Hide and Seek, Bike Riding , and any other game they can come up with on the fly...they play! The rules? They are made up as they go of course! By the way, there is nothing like the smell of 10-20 sweaty pre-teen boys on a hot Texas afternoon!
For Jordan's 12th B-Day party we asked him what he wanted to do. His answer? " Dad I just want to play!" He asked to have the neighborhood kids over for a sleep over on a Friday and play all afternoon, put lights up in the backyard after dark and play some more, and then keep playing until they all passed out wherever they fell. So that's what we did. We had the neighborhood kids over, ate hot dogs and a Cookie Cake, and they played all night long.
It was awesome!!
Isn't it funny how we make things more complicated and stressful than they need to be. Take Christmas for instance. Kids are given all kinds of toys and stuff, and then we find them playing with the empty boxes more than the toys. For Birthdays and special occasions, we get bounce houses, go to Chuck E. Cheese, and throw Big Parties, and while there is nothing wrong with that, I'm afraid we miss it. Looking back on all the Birthday parties with our kids, the greatest ones were when we just played!
I remember wishing I had more money to do the "bigger things," but now looking back I'm grateful. We just played! A city park and a wiffle ball, sleepovers, skateboarding, and camp outs in the back yard were awesome! This past year Megan wanted to have a fashion show at home with her friends. They dressed up in Donna's clothes and shoes, had a run way, and I played music as they modeled. It was a blast. The simple things in life made those parties more fun and memorable. We found ourselves enjoying each other more than worrying about what we could give or buy for each other. We PLAYED!
Here are some interesting verses I think relate...
"For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me." Matthew 18:2
"When the religious leaders saw the outrageous things he was doing, and heard all thechildren running and shouting through the Temple, "Hosanna to David's Son!" they were up in arms and took him to task. "Do you hear what these children are saying?"Jesus said, "Yes, I hear them. And haven't you read in God's Word, 'From the mouths of children and babies I'll furnish a place of praise'?" Matthew 21:15
"The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: "Don't push these childrenaway. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them."
I think Jesus was serious about playing too! He told the people that unless they believed and had the faith of a child they wouldn't make it. In fact, Jesus said that all we have to do is believe with the "simplicity of a child" and we will be saved. Interesting! The only way to find eternal life, love, joy, and peace in the complicated messes we create is to think like a child. PLAY! LAUGH! BELIEVE! CREATE! ENJOY! LOVE! How? Like a child!
I hope this gives you hope today. Maybe you just feel like your world is caving in all around you. You can take a minute right now, and with the faith of a child surrender your life to Jesus Christ. Check out Romans 10:9-10; & 13 too. They'll help you know exactly what you need to do next.
I would like to thank Jordan, Megan, all my kids, and my beautiful wife Donna, for reminding me about what is most important in life. I think we need to tell our Heavenly Father what Jordan said to me. "Dad, I just want to play!" I am ready for an eternal playtime in a new heaven and earth. You?
Thanks for reading! Thanks also for your prayers & support as Donna and I continue to walk this journey together! We would love and appreciate you very much. If these blogs and videos have blessed you, and you feel compelled to support us financially too, just click the donate button to the right. BE BLESSED!