How To Start Your Day With A Tiny Taste Of Heaven
God stops at nothing to keep this blogger authentic and honest.
So I don’t know why I was surprised when my five-year-old farmer rose with the sun on Wednesday morning and shook me awake with this question: “Mommy? Can we play something?”
I had tried to lift my head off the pillow and explain that Mommy plays best after a few cups of coffee, but before I could even respond to my youngest son’s invitation, I felt a Hotwheel car roll across my arm.
“I was thinking that we could have our own little a crash-up-derby, Mom. Before Maggie wakes up.”
“A crash-up derby?” I asked, still trying to figure out if I was having a nightmare or really talking to my fully-alive-and-ready-to-roll- bed-headed boy.
“Yeah! A derby like the ones we read about in that book from the library.”
At this point, I woke up enough to make a mental note never to allow Josh to peruse the nonfiction section of our local library again.
Maybe our children’s librarian could re-shelve that whole cluster of race car books and the series on how-to-be-an-auto-mechanic.
Maybe if I promised to fund a small wing of the next library expansion she’d just relocate those titles that inspire early morning derbies to the top shelf.
Or anywhere out of the reach of my kindergartener.
Josh continued running his little red car over my arm as impressive car-engine noises rose from somewhere deep within his pajama-clad boy body.
“Remember, Mom? That book said you might even swallow some dirt if the cars get too close. So, could we bring in some dirt from Dad’s flower bed and just…..”
His brain was churning, trying to grab that great idea. “…sprinkle it all over the track or something.”
I rubbed my eyes and heaved my still-sleepy body out of bed.
Then, as I brushed my teeth, I bargained with my bright-eyed boy.
I’ll drink a cup of coffee while you pick out the cars for the derby.
And how about we just cut up slivers of brown construction paper for the dirt?
I don’t think Dad wants us digging in his flower beds this morning.
Sometimes the hardest part of play is just stepping in. Just stopping the mental whirl that says we have too much to do, too many important things to accomplish.
Just letting go of our I’d rather be’s and grabbing hold of the moment before us.
In his book, The Rest of God, Mark Buchanan says:
“There’s one god of the age that Christians pay homage to, its the god of utility. As a tribe, we’re deeply, devoutly utilitarian. Everything we do we seek to justify on the grounds of its usefulness.
What’s missing is a theology of play.
There are many thing- eating ice cream, diving off cliffs, sleeping in Saturday mornings, learning bird-calls, watching movies- that can’t be shoehorned into a utilitarian scheme, try as you might.
We do some things just for the simple sake of doing them. They don’t need to be done: nobody insists, and the world’s left unchanged by our doing them or not.
But they just might make ..us feel more alive, more ourselves, and that’s use enough.“
I thought about Buchanan’s words as I cheered on my purple Hotwheel car in our early morning derby.
I wondered if it was the second cup of coffee that was bringing me to life or if it was the frivolous feast of play that I was sharing with my son as the rest of my crew slept through our paper-mud fights and rowdy applause.
Because maybe, just maybe, those tender moments are a tiny taste of Heaven.
Play hints at a world beyond us. It carries a rumor of eternity, news from a kingdom where Chronos and utility are no more welcome than Hades and the ancient serpent. When we play, we nudge the border of forever. -Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God
The Overflow: Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” -Matthew 18:3-4
Happily linking with Jennifer at Getting Down With Jesus