The following excerpt from And a Child Shall Lead Us: 5 Powerful Playground Metaphors for Coaches! written by Ben Dooley was submitted by Pastor Katie.
At my playground growing up, the sandbox was probably the coolest activity of all. It was the great equalizer for boys and girls alike — cool or awkward, creative or not, social or solo. This was the place where anything was possible. At least for me.
You got to play in the ground in something that by all means would make you dirty, but you didn’t get dirty.
You could create buildings, bridges, roadways, tunnels, caves, “bottomless” pits, and just about anything that your imagination could think of.
You could work with just the sand, or you could bring in your own shovels, molds, and other implements of building. And you could always bring your toys (cars, action figures, and even an occasional “buried treasure”).
You could work with friends, but it was also where you met and interacted with other kids you didn’t know. And you were all tied to that same activity. You were all working together for the same goal.
You could make up games.
You didn’t even have to DO anything specific. Many a child enjoyed the sensation of running their fingers through the grains, watching them pour through the cracks and cascade to the ground like some sort of solid water. Other kids would enjoy the feeling of digging their hands into this flexible ‘earth,’ sifting their fingers (and occasionally their toes) deeper and deeper.
And at the end of the day, when it’s time to go home, you always (somehow, no matter how hard you try) manage to take a little bit of the sandbox home with you.
But the greatest thing about the sandbox was that there was no “wrong” way — anything could be fixed or re-made. Better than that — each day was a new “canvas” to make again.
The church has been my sandbox for as long as I can remember. Sure, humanity sometimes got in the way (either I felt judged or condemned), but each Sunday was like breathing a fresh breath, an inhale — a new start to the next week. An exhale from the previous week. Smiles, hugs, laughs, stories to share.
Wouldn’t it be great if we all had sandboxes now? If we saw our church as a sandbox? We could create anything our imagination could dream up. We could connect and collaborate with old friends and new friends. We would all be equal — regardless of where we came from and who we were. We could all focus on a single purpose, and make up a new purpose in a moment’s notice. We could experience great satisfaction on our own or in a group. We could simply feel the texture and simple BEING in the experience. And when it’s time to leave, there will always be a few grains that stay with us.
I am excited to invite you to the sandbox with me. I can’t wait to imagine, build, and play with each of you as we discover faith.
My office hours will start out on Mondays and Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 2:00 p.m. Feel free to come by and see me. I’m a texter like no other — let’s start a conversation. You can email me as well. If we can’t meet at Lake Cities UMC, we can set up a time at my Cumberland office.
POINT TO PONDER: Would you like to have a Sandbox in your life?
~ Katie Klein