As I walked past the playground, I realised the setting was unique. First, it was night. Second, it was silent. No children, no activities. It was as if it was a monument, sharing a story with anyone willing to listen.
As my memory replayed past playground scenes across my mind, children of multiple generations came into focus with their laughter and smiles. Towards the end, I could see myself back on a school playground in India, waxing the slide so it was even faster than it already was. As I enjoyed the memories, several lessons emerged.
Every playground was a gift from others. Public, schoolyard, and even backyards, were gifted to children, and those still a child at heart, to use, enjoy, and discover. I entered each, open, excited, and looking forward to what followed. At times, I crashed and burned as a fell, slid, or otherwise let go of the equipment. Yet, the excitement always returned.
The purpose of a playground is only realized with engagement. Kids need to be involved. In their participation, interaction, yelling for attention from those watching, and celebration, the purpose and intent of a playground is revealed and confirmed. This is not for the cautious or the timid. This experience comes with risks, some danger, and amazing rewards.
Kids intuitively understand this. Occasionally the setting is big, too big for a child to be comfortable with. When parents encourage them, occasionally joining them if only for a time, and they see friends having fun, the willingness to boldly go comes. As my memories played out as I reflected on the silent playground waiting for the morning sun and children, I could see them living out the old description of what Abraham did when he was invited into Divinity’s playground. “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.” (Romans 4.3)
Today is Divinity’s playground. The gates are open. It is time to be a part of it all.