Time to Get Out and Play!

August 7, 2014
Cindy Spencer

Today’s guest blogger is Cindy Spencer, Faith Formation Hub: Children and Family Ministries, Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. She also serves on the Lifelong Formation Advisory Council.

What did you love doing as a child?

“Truly, I tell you, unless you change and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2

002846617d0c7eb0e4a665f5b49fbb39One of my favorite activities from age 8 or so was riding my bike.  I loved to feel the wind in my face, to feel the side-to-side sense of balance as I moved speedily forward.  Of course, I also loved the freedom a bike gives an elementary age child – the ability to get to a friend’s house, or to school or the library on my own!

Somehow, though, I gave up biking when I outgrew my yellow banana-seat bike, at about age 12.  I didn’t bike for years, and when I did, I was uncomfortably aware that I had never learned to use hand brakes effectively.  About five years ago now, I decided that this was something I simply had to master, and I bought my current bike  and discovered that my love of moving forward, of balancing side-to-side, of feeling the wind in my face was the same as when I was in elementary school.

Biking became a time when I could focus on what was immediately in front of me (important on a Saturday on the Burke-Gilman Trail!), when I could enjoy transporting myself by the power of my own muscles, when I had time to reflect on my week without getting bogged down to much in the “shoulda-coulda-wouldas” of my work-day self. Biking became a way of practicing being present to the current moment, not dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. It became a time when I was aware of the presence of God in my life.

Today I stumbled on a spirituality blog, which recommended this very practice as a way of nourishing my soul and my passion. No, not biking itself, but rather remembering what I loved doing as a child and reconnecting with it in some way. And so today, in the middle of summer, in the middle of your lives as parents, I have this question for you:

What did you love to do as a child?
Do you still do that thing, or anything like it?

Take a moment away from noticing what it is your child or children love to do, and think deeply about this question for yourself.

Then get out and play!