Monday, February 08, 2010
I’m a grownup. No one mistakes me any longer for being a kid. And it’s been a good long while since I was a child.
I like being a grownup. It’s who I am. But, at times, I forget what it’s like to be a child. That's
not so good. .
The other day I played laser tag.. I joined twenty single adults from our church in a titanic laser battle. It was a blast. Child-like.
How much fun is it to run up, around, and down ramps shooting lasers at people. For forty minutes the troubles of adulthood melted away. We were kids again. And it felt quite good.
For too many adults playing kids games sounds childish. It’s not. There’s something freeing about letting yourself go, running (or at least walking semi-fast), and laughing. When we grow up we forget about the freedom of childhood and instead take on the weightier roles and responsibilities of adulthood. I don't know about you but sometimes adulthood weighs me down.
I know a fair number of adults would choose not to engage in a rousing game of laser tag. They’d opt out. They’d wonder if they’d be embarrassed or not talented enough. Would they get dirty or sweaty? Kids play. Adults think and worry.
On the day of my afternoon laser tag game I spent the morning with a group of folks in an inner city neighborhood learning about community development. It was adult work. Necessary. Important, Challenging. Thought provoking. In the afternoon I played. Laser tag was relatively unimportant, not very challenging, and I didn’t have to used much of my brain. But I needed it.
Laser tag became a little like a mini-Sabbath. After a morning of heavy lifting I needed to rest. ‘Twas good.
I wonder how many of us need to reclaim the freedom of childhood for our tired adult lives. Have we become so adult that we forget how to let ourselves go in wholesome, fun ways? Has cynicism and sarcasm replaced hearty laughter and a joyful heart? I know, for me, that sometimes I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. It’s weight I don’t carry well. It’s unnecessary. I wish I cold shrug it off of me but I can’t seem to do it.
And then, someone invites me to play or I get invited into a discussion about nothing of import. I laugh. And the huge weight I’m carrying begins to fall away. I stand straighter and feel more focused. I so need that.
Laser tag reminded me that I still enjoy child-like things. ‘Tis good, don’t you think? It should be for it is a Jesus thing. In the book of Matthew Jesus tells the disciples to let the children come to Him. In fact, He said, “The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Could it be that in the children Jesus saw innocence, wide-eyed possibility, close your eyes and hope for it faith, and a playfulness that kept his heart young and alive? May it be so for us all.