Points to Ponder: The joy of Civilian Childhood

Points to Ponder
The joy of Civilian Childhood
By Pastor Whitmore
Weekly Contributing Writer

A rag tag group in civilian clothes would gather. Some had bats, others had a ball; most of us had our own gloves. We hiked up the street to Riverside Park, divided into two teams of relatively equal talent, and played. Just for fun.
But now, it seems that kids can't play unless they are in uniform. They have to go to hours of practice. Their parents run taxi services to accommodate the game schedule. And now we have lighted fields, so that these little armies of players can get all their required games played. Even on a school night.
When I was a kid, sundown meant it's time to come in and get ready for bed. But today, with all of these games that have to be played, priorities must be re-evaluated.
When I drive by the ballfields full of uniformed children, I wonder: are they out there to play - or to do a job?
It was much more fun - and memorable - to be a civilian on the sandlot, than in a uniform on a pretty ball field. Can't a kid just be a kid anymore? Can't they just play for the fun of it?
How much one gets to play is based on how well that one can perform. Fun, if you're good; demoralizing if you're not. In uniform, your "errors" are on the score board. At the sandlot, civilian players pick themselves up and try again. After all, it's just a game.
I wonder, as I observed a sea of uniforms is it still a game for them? Are they having fun?
In Solomon's reflections on the meaning of life, it is a gift of God to just enjoy one's life. The simple pleasures are often scheduled out to make room for the urgent things which come disguised as important. Someone has rightly advised, "Do not sacrifice what is important in exchange for the urgent."
"So I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun." (Ecclesiastes 8:15)
Simple pleasures are the best, and yet so easily missed because we rush past them.
When you share stories of times gone by, and you smile in appreciation of that event you now treasure, did you realize then that you were experiencing a sacred gift? Did you truly taste the goodness of God in that moment?
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!" (Psalm 34:8)

Hilltop Christian Fellowship, 12624 Trinity Church Drive, Clear Spring. Listen to Rev. Whitmore on WJEJ-1240 AM, Tues and Thurs at 10:45 a.m. & p.m. & Wed at 10:45 a.m. www.hilltopchristianfellowship.com.