THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
The summers of my childhood were so much different from the summers that kids experience today. I know that makes me sound really old, but it is the truth.
My summers were spent outside. There were always chores that had to be done around the house, but as soon as we were finished, out the door we went. My particular neighborhood was full of young families with lots of kids: there were 123 children under 18 on my block at its peak. I think about that now and am amazed at the fact that the majority of us were all together playing up and down the block all day. Older kids watched out for the younger kids and stayed on their best behavior since they knew younger kids had loose lips! It may sound like there was total freedom, but believe me, there was always an adult somewhere and they had NO problem letting you know if you got out of line. We listened and minded the mom or dad down the street just like our own, because we knew that our parents would know way before we got home if not.
We spent our days playing games, building stilts and blanket forts, roller-skating, and riding bikes. Hot afternoons were spent either under a tree reading and watching the clouds form shapes or running through the sprinkler on someone’s lawn. The really nice thing was that, for the most part, everyone got along. Toys were shared and we got to experience the “cool” toys that other people had. Our family had a trampoline, the family across the street had a Ping-Pong table, someone had a Slip and Slide, and the neighbor two doors down had the coolest toy–an electric racecar track. Playing together and sharing what we had honed our social skills and ability to get along. No one wanted to be left out because of fighting or being selfish.
As I look back on those days, I am reminded of the way early believers lived together. In Acts 4:32-35 there’s a perfect description of how Jesus wanted us to be together as a church. “ All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.”
While we kids were only working together to share toys and games, they were the things that were important to us. I believe that God has built into all of us the desire to live together in harmony. He knew from the beginning that being together and sharing was the optimum way to be in community. Now, if only we could remember that as adults. ~ Maggie