The Playing Field


Some people are more stoic when injured than others. With a pain tolerance close to zero, I am not one of them. My kids would tell you that sometimes I say “Ouch” even before I trip over a tree root, get hit with a basketball or shut my finger in a door.

I’ve been bruise-worthy for as long as I can remember. It must be because of sensitive nerve endings that have oddly developed over the years and not because of wimpy-ness. In my youth, I was anything but a wimp. I ran around trying to keep up with the older kids and when that didn’t work out…proclaimed myself as leader of the younger kids. Typical youngest child.

In the good old days of the late 60’s, early 70’s youth, we used to run around all day and come in only because of the chiming of a dinner bell. (My family never actually had a bell, but the rest of the neighborhood did…I felt short changed.) We kids always found a great adventure around every corner. The world was our safe little oyster; our infinite-seeming playing field.shutterstock_112916848

There was always a ‘Good Humor’ truck to chase down, a fort to be built, a creek to skate on, a nature club to start, a sprinkler to run through and always, always, a game of flashlight tag to assemble. Biking was always a favorite. I remember wiping out on gravel more than a few times and hand picking those little rocks out of my knees. Sometimes laughing, sometimes crying.

At night we would retire to ‘Jiffy Pop’ popcorn on the stove and “G” rated TV shows like “The Brady Bunch”, “Wild Kingdom” or “The Wide World of Disney” until we couldn’t keep our eyes open. Ahhh… I can practically smell it! We sure knew how to have fun.

shutterstock_378684688What remains the same in the playing field over the years is the ‘the food chain’. If you are not at the top of it (and even at the top) feelings of insecurity and insufficiency can dominate a vulnerable young psyche. But add to it an insecure world of global terrorism, school violence, sexual pressures, bullying and drug abuse and the playing field changes.

These kids are feeling the fear, bruises and scrapes but on the inside, deep down and it’s starting at a way younger age. Simple band-aids cannot heal these wounds. Because when injury runs deep, band-aids fall short.

The only one, the only answer that never falls short is Jesus. Nothing in the playing field surprises Him. Looking to the world for answers is temporal. You have a savior who knows you and loves you and is seeking you this very minute. Think of getting to know Him as an adventure in itself and change up your playing field. It’s never too shutterstock_448014040late to start or to re-affirm your love for the Lord.

This week, let Jesus pick the gravel out of your wounds. Pray for those you know who find themselves discouraged or lost. If you know of anyone’s kids that are struggling, be a caring friend to them. This is no time to just observe the playing field. Get in, roll up your sleeves and get dirty.

“Saddle up your horses,

We have a trail to blaze,

Through the wild blue yonder,

Of God’s amazing grace.

Let’s follow our leader

Into the glorious unknown

This is a life like no other

This is the great adventure.”

Singer, songwriter, Steven Curtis Chapman – “The Great Adventure”

“My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ears to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.” Proverbs 4:20-22


“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19


“Decisions become easier when your will to please God outweighs your will to please the world.” Anon

2 thoughts on “The Playing Field

  1. I so see this is my youngest. Media and world expectations have become important to him already. I never thought about these things at 12 years old, but you have to be really diligent to stay out of their reach today. The song “If We’re Honest” – Francesca Battistelli is one of my favorites right now and just last night, I thought I need to print out the words and use it for a Bible Study with my boys. This verse in particular and the chorus:

    Don’t pretend to be something that you’re not
    Living life afraid of getting caught
    There is freedom found when we lay
    our secrets down at the cross, at the cross

    Bring your brokenness, and I’ll bring mine
    ‘Cause love can heal what hurt divides
    And mercy’s waiting on the other side
    If we’re honest

    I just LOVE this song!!

  2. One more beautiful one! Such a sobering reminder of our changing world and an encouraging reminder of our Lord’s grace in our lives.

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