Thursday, June 17, 2010

I am Thankful for Children and Simple Pleasures

It is wonderful to watch your grandchildren play. We have a basement full of toys but they both prefer to be outside. They are mesmerized by the simple things of life, horses, cows, chickens, and butterflies. One of their favorite things to do is to play in the top of the barn. It’s a giant play house for them. There are a couple of problems, wasps and access. Wasps make nests all over and have to be cleared out. There are no stairs to the upper level, just a wall ladder in one of the stalls. The consequence is they don’t get up there often.

Today we took them to the Blue Hole on the Ocoee River. They were so happy swimming and jumping off the rocks. Cheryl and Alethea were most directly engaged with them. Since it was a river with some currents and a lot of slippery rocks I tried to keep an eye on them. The longer we were there the more relaxed I got. The kids were like ducks. This allowed me to look at them, to see the pure joy on their faces. And Camdyn and Charlie were just as happy.

I have long argued that one of the greatest gifts we can give to children is a safe secure environment in which to engage in free play. As I watched a mother and grandmother swim with their progeny today I was struck with how important it is for adults to enter into that world with them. Children can lead us back into the simple pleasures of life if we will let them. We must protect them. It is good to find pleasure in their happiness. But it is something all together more wonderful to enter into their enchanted world and relish the excitement of simple pleasures with them. It is the difference between being awestruck by that which we witness, and being infused with that which enthralls.

Except we become like little children we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Perhaps children most clearly point the way to God by the manner they actively engage their environment with gusto and pleasure. I suspect that is how our Heavenly Father desires for us to encounter Him. And it just might be that we need to embrace that which excites children if we desire to be embraced by our Creator, we need to dance with the fireflies if we hope to dance with the Light of the world.

Cleveland, Tennessee
June 17, 2010