I remember the innocence of a playground where children felt safe about being honest, where a friend was simply made by saying, “Do you want to play?” I long for these days of simple play. For as I grew older and encountered people who looked upon how I was dressed, or where I lived, or even who my parents were, my playmates seemed to gradually disappear. The final resounding blow came when, although my athletic abilities were accepted, my social graces were found dysfunctional to the point where no one wanted me around after the play was done.
My recovery from these days takes me back to looking at myself through very different eyes. The good Lord taught and is teaching me how to play socially, to humble myself as a child and be free within His love. After making most of my choices for life without Him in the dark I had become very skeptical on how I’d relate with other people, I did not want to be hurt anymore or hurt others. Now with my eyes on God, there is a familiar place for me to revisit as I am parented by His Spirit. It holds a common bond that I had to relearn within its simplistic setting which most call the playground. This book takes a look at what had been familiar to me as a child wherein I made poor confused choices in the dark and crosses me over from here to looking back from a vantage point with one of light.
There are common principles which I’ve learned by looking at a playground in a metaphysical way. It is my hope to make the abstract simple by identifying each principle element in child’s play, in a way where it can be easily remembered as applied to everyday life. Yes, by using the contraptions found within the playground of my youth I have found practical applications to problems that we face daily in a way that will help one to remember solutions by recalling the simple elements of play.
There are a few basic similarities in the elements of play for them to function properly: Center and balance will affect the ride and its duration. Also friction can come into play, wear and tear and weather are other factors; however, I only want to use the elements of play as a guide for you to expand upon on in identifying spirituality in our everyday walk of life.
There are two approaches when we climb the ladder of a slide. One is that we are in control, aware of each step we are going to take. The other we anticipate the ride of the slide so the steps seem to have disappeared.
I have learned that when I seek to follow God there are two methods of climbing that come into play. In building a relationship with God there is a ride to keep climbing deeper into His love by learning about the truth of who He is. Hence, the more I know about Him the more of Him there is to love.
But when I am self-centered, in my other way, I notice not whom I’m communicating with. I have discovered when I climb the ladder in my interpretation of God too quickly, to get to know Him; I excel the pace of the rate He wants to teach me about Himself. This causes me to slide down and away from Him, for I have not been still within the order of His presence. This is made evident by the loss of my peace in my relationship with Him, for Jesus is the Prince of Peace and when I lose sight of this I lose the enjoyment of the ride.
building a relationship with us that we are lifted into the heights, widths, breadths, and depths of Him, found in the structure of the joyous monkey bars, where we can truly learn of Him as we meet with Him for play as He has now refashioned us to contain His Spirit.
The Sand Box
I can remember some of the games I used to play in the sand box with other kids. One was to burry an object somewhere in the sand box and each of us had to guess where it was to dig it up. The one who found it faster won. Playing hot or cold was another variation. Then there was always, who can build the biggest sand castle, or elaborate? Some how it was more fun when they all blended together; then everyone would cooperate to build the big community one. There was also the big smash where we all took turns jumping on the sand pile.
I could also remember learning the skills of pail and shovel coordination and of course there was the sifter to clean the sand. There was sand and then there was dirt and then add a little water, not too much or there was mud, and you could really craft the sand into some good shapes. Construction toys for building super highways, but don’t fight over space or you could get sand thrown in your eyes.
Spiritual application: did you ever notice when someone is busy building their own sand castles they become so self involved that it is hard to communicate with them. I have observed that most people look through the eyes of what they are building. Does it fit in with my life? Is it valuable enough for me to spend my time or resources on? There are also preconceived ideas of reality, relative pick and choose verses absolute consistency and they both can filter out the virgin experiences of perception in everyday life. Yes, God is consistent in His structure and order, but He is free to move even within the boundaries we cannot see of it. I believe Brother Paul had the right idea when he said to pray without ceasing, keep our sand castles out of the way so that we may have open communication with others. I see that when I’m out of the way I’m able to recognize more readily what God has actually taught me as opposed to what I think I have perceived Him