Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Parable of the Playground of Life

Okay...so my parable begins...."Life is like a teeter-totter. Sometimes you are up. feet swinging underneath you, laughing and giggling,....and sometimes you are down....bumping on the ground with a swack! And so life goes...Up! Down! Up! Down! And if you are going to stay on the ride....that is how it goes. When you are young and unhindered by life....you are light and free and spend most of your time in the air. You just don't understand the weightiness of how the game works. But as the heaviness of life begins to take it's toll, you spend an awful lot of life sitting on the low end wondering when it will be your turn to be lifted up again. You begin to learn that only someone with weightier problems than yours are really able to lift you up.....and so rather than deal with all their wisdom along with their burdens, I felt it was time to hop off of the teeter totter and move on to the next ride. I probably dropped the ball, when I let that teeter totter drop, maybe even hurt someone on the other end, but I didn't think much of it. After all, there are places to go and people to see....so I ran on. I hadn't minded the ups so much, but those downs of life became too much for me to handle....I ran to the Merry Go Round. This looked more my speed and I loved the music. The carousel is an endless ride around and around, and it goes slow enough for even the most unadventurous. For awhile, I was enamored by it's hypnotizing lull and smooth ride....but in actuality, you never really go anywhere on the Merry-Go-Round. The journey is the same day in and day out I began to get bored with it. You just keep passing by the same people in the same ruts and the scenery never changes. How much can you learn about life on an eternal road to nowhere? I glanced a few times at the gigantic slippery slide, although it's promise of adventure looked very scary to me. And again...no matter how high you climb...you eventually have to come down a slippery path to where??? I'm not much of a thrill seeker. I like things that are safe. I'm seeing a pattern here, I think. Adventure can get you to a higher plane, and the exhilaration might be worth the risk, but again.....life always involves more than you are willing to give, or fear that won't allow you to give it. So I passed it by, at least for now. Was their nothing in this playground of life for me to enjoy? I did stop to smell a couple of flowers on my way to the swing set, but again, I remembered that these, too, must die. I did swing for a couple of minutes, but not too high, and not too long. After all, life wasn't meant to be fun....was it? It just seemed selfish of me to do what I enjoyed....so, I didn't. I can still feel the breeze blowing through my hair and hear the giggle that rose in my throat. I felt free! For a moment, I forgot the worries of life and just enjoyed being! I decided that I like the swings....but it seemed to me like pleasure brought with it, guilt. How sad to want to soar in a swing, but feeling the pleasure and enjoyment of it is wrong. I went and sat down by the biggest tree in the park and cried! I cried for things that can never be, and I wept for things and the way they are. I yearned to be a child again, but alas, I am not. I am growing old. I have forgotten what a playground (or life) if you will, is really meant for. I have strayed away from the very thing it was created to be. The wonderment of little eyes, the tiny barefooted freedom of the green grass or squishy mud between your toes. The awe of a child's hands that explore, and grasp, and feel. Oh, and especially the ears that hear the wind whisper it's secrets from an ever present Creator who runs and plays next to me. I am my Father's child, although I am already fifty-five. He still sees me as if I were the newborn baby in my mother's arms. As the ups and downs of life weigh heavy on these fifty-five year old shoulders crying under the tree, Jesus came to me in my sadness and lifted me to my feet. Grabbing my hand, he pulls me to my feet. "Come play with Me," He says with an impish grin. He drags me to the slide first and tells me He has my back. The way looks steep....but He is right behind me. We giggle and laugh as the speed of the slope takes me to the bottom. He sits on the teeter totter and I am high in the air waving my feet and smiling. "Will there be bumps?" I ask warily. "Yes," He replies, "but I will be there to pick you up and brush you off. And at the end of life's ride....I will be there waiting for you to come play with Me in the kingdom My Father and I have created." He starts to leave me, and I cry out to Him. "I can't do this alone! This playground is too hard! Too many ups and downs! Too much loneliness and sadness. And Jesus, I say, "Things DIE here. It hurts when you have bumps. Sometimes, the pain is unbearable to my heart. I have so many questions...Why? Please, don't leave me. The playground is getting darker all the time." Jesus looked at me with sadness in His eyes. "In this world you will have troubles, Cathy. But rest assured, little one, I have overcome the world." Jesus motioned again for me to follow Him. "Come, it is my pleasure to give you the kingdom." I started to follow at a distance, than began running to catch up with him. I smiled as He began skipping. It's funny...although my weary old body couldn't skip very well.....my spirit began to skip...and it didn't take long for my heart and soul to follow.

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