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Monday, January 31, 2011

Childhood Games and Toys

While walking in our neighborhood recently, I came upon a chalked hopscotch design. I hadn’t seen one of those in years. Kids in our neighborhood don’t play traditional childhood games. Instead, they ride razor scooters or motorized minibikes. And I’m guessing they know a whole lot more about texting and video games than I will ever know. Their childhood activities are far more sophisticated and costly than mine were, but my childhood wasn’t boring.

I started caddying when I was six. That kept me busy in the summertime. A wooden bench outside the caddy shack received hundreds of pocketknife indentations as another caddy and I straddled the bench and flung our knives into the air and tried to stick them skillfully into the bench. I forget the scoring system, but I remember a score depended on the number of fingers you could place handshake style between the bench and the jackknife’s handle.

Another childhood game at the golf course involved running into nearby woods and hiding when a grouchy golfer arrived in the parking lot. None of us kids wanted the caddy master to choose us to caddy for that golfer.

Ice hockey on frozen streets and ponds provided wintertime outdoor activity, and riding a flat sheet of cardboard down a snowy hill was a popular no-cost way to spend an hour or so.

The neighborhood kids and I also found other ways to amuse ourselves. An empty sewing thread spool, s mall stick, a longer stick, and a rubber band became a moving mouse. A hollowed-out chestnut and a stick became a pipe. We made badges for hats and shirts by removing cork from pop-bottle tops and fastening the cork to the tops through the clothing.

The list could continue, but suffice is to say kids today enjoy sophisticated, expensive toys and games. However, childhood is a fleeting time of life, and when a person becomes an adult he normally abandons childish things. The apostle Paul said he put childish ways behind him when he became a man (1 Cor. 13:11).

Wouldn’t our churches be better off if all of their adult members put their childish ways behind them? Mature Christians don’t go to church to be entertained, but to be edified and to edify (Eph. 4:7-13).