Friday, July 29, 2011

Ah, Those Kids!

Cute Little Girl Reads Psalm 23 - Watch This!
Posted by Joel Chavady
Posted July 8
If you have been following me for very long you know how much I LOVE children and young people.  I have devoted my life to working with and for them.  My current job is as a program director in a church.  This position allows me the opportunity to work with people of all ages, but it's the youngest that really make my heart sing.  Their innocence is so refreshing.  They have not yet learned all the games that we older folks know and use so easily.  They just are...for good or bad, and that can change in the blink of an eye, they just live in the moment. 
The ease with which they accept life as it comes to them is inspiring.  It's raining outside?  That doesn't change their plans. They can play in the rain.  It's hot outside.  They know how to turn the water on and play in the sprinklers.  As I was walking home from work last night, I watched a group of kids having a great time doing just this.  It was unbearably warm, but here were these kids having the best time running through the water, laughing and playing.  I almost joined in, but my adult self just wouldn't let me.  After all, I wasn't dressed to play in the water.  It didn't stop the children.
After I started back on my way, I began to think about what happens to us.  Where do we lose the 'fun' in our lives?  What makes us decide to be 'grown-ups'?  I will certainly admit that, at the age of fifty-four, I am thankful for the experiences I have had and the wisdom I have gained because of them, but I've also lost some things along the way.  Things that, as I was walking home, I realized I missed. 
Spontaneity-I think I do a pretty good job of just 'going with the flow.'  I am not like my brother, who plans every detail of everything.  I'm not putting him down, it works for him.  It's who he is, but it's not me.  And as I continued to think about it, I realized that I may not plan so much, but I'm not as quick to 'jump into the water' as I was when I was young.  I think first and that is not always a bad thing, but it's not always a good thing either.  After all, what would have happened if I had jumped in the sprinkler with the kids when they asked?  I would have had great fun and I'd have been a whole lot cooler walking the rest of the way home.  I would have looked pretty funny, but I'd have worn a smile all the way!
Laughter-I love to laugh and when I do, most everyone in the building hears me.  But as I was listening to those children giggle and laugh even a couple of blocks away, I began to try to remember when I had had a really good, sustained time of laughter like those children.  You know, the ones that make your stomach hurt and tears come.  It's been a's been too long.  Laughter is good for you!  It releases all those endorphins and it makes you feel so good.  In holistic medicine, some doctors will prescribe, along with your medications, laughter.  We've all read the stories about those people who have helped themselves heal by doing all the medical things and then spending each day watching something that makes them laugh.  Even if it doesn't cure you, you'll feel better.
Simplicity-There was nothing complicated or difficult in what those kiddos were doing.  There was a hose, a circular sprinkler (just like the one we used to run through when I was a kid), the yard, and the kids.  They took what they had and they made fun out of it.  So many times we think we can't do something because we don't have the right equipment or things to do it with.  In reality, we probably don't need all the things.  It could probably be done with far less than we think.  After all, it's the relationships that we remember, much more than the 'stuff.'  We have so many 'toys' today that we all believe to be necessary and for some of our activities these inventions make our lives so much easier.  But they also complicate our lives and I wonder sometimes if life really is better with them. 
Time-As adults we all have our schedules to keep, not just for today but for the next month, the next quarter, the next year.  We carry our phones with our calendars because our lives are so full that we can't make arrangements to do anything until we verify that nothing else is scheduled.  These children didn't care about time.  All they had was this moment and they were making the most of it.  Why is it that adults are so worried about what just happened (I had just come from a meeting that I was dissecting in my mind) or about what is going to happen that we forget to just enjoy this moment.  After all, we will only have this moment right now, this one time.  Once it is gone, it is irretrievable.  We can't make it better or worse.  We can't live it over again.  We can remember it, if we choose to, but we can't live it again.  We had our chance.  I hope we used it wisely.
It was only a few short blocks from these kids and their sprinkler party to my house, but so many things came to mind during that walk.  We adults are so easily sidetracked by our 'adult' activities that, I believe, sometimes we forget to live.  Do I live the life I was intended to live?  This question came to me as I reached the corner at the end of my block.  As I began to make the turn to my house, I looked up in the sky to the east.  There had been no rain, but the humidity was very high.  Over the southeast part of our town was the most beautiful rainbow!  I'm glad I was able to see it!  Thanks, Kids!

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