At sunrise EVERY morning I wake to the words, “Daddy, it’s light time. Time to play”. And then later that night I hear the protest, “but Daddy, I can’t go to sleep; I’m not tired”. I often wonder how does my child have so much energy?
This weekend my son’s 4 year old friends who are twins had a pirate and princess themed birthday party. At the party was a giant inflatable pirate ship. The kids were having so much fun playing, and they played for hours in the hot sun. Many of the parents, including me, stood off to the side wondering, “How do our kids have so much energy?”
As the numbers of children began dwindling from the pirate ship, I began thinking about how much I miss my sons during the week and wanted to spend some time with them while they were playing. Pretty soon I was transformed from mild mannered Daddy to the evil Captain Hook, and I was being chased by Peter Pan and his band of Lost Boys (and Girls). A plastic sword fight ensued and the children squealed with glee.
As I ran by one of the other parents, being chased by a group of 4 year olds, he said, “Wow, you have a lot of energy”. I chuckled as I continued running from and then chasing my two sons and their friends, and I thought to myself, “Just thirty minutes ago I was standing on the sidelines desiring the energy of a four year old and now I have it”. I felt better that day than I have in a long time, and my children loved their time with Daddy (Captain Hook), and I loved my time with them.
I encourage you to step off the sidelines and join in play with your children. All too often I miss opportunities to bond with and teach my children while they are playing by sitting on the sidelines and watching. Psalm 127:3 tells us that children are a gift from the Lord. Let’s all as parents partake more purposefully in the gift that the Lord has given us. Children are so good at enjoying and being content in the smallest of things, and I believe that this is where much of their energy comes from. I believe that we too can have energy like our children when we delight and meaningfully participate in the time the Lord has given us with them. And not only are we blessed and strengthened, but our children are receiving the hope and future that was planned for them and spoken of in Jeremiah 29:11 by the very people God chose for them.
If you are a parent, I encourage you to play with your child today in a moment that you may have normally let pass by; get down in the floor with them, run around outside with them, slide down the slides at the playground with them, play video games with them, whatever their interest may be.
And whether you are already a parent or not, I encourage you to adopt a child today who is waiting for a Mommy and Daddy to play with them, waiting for Daddy to throw the football with them, waiting for Mommy to read their favorite book to them, waiting for someone to get down on their level, make eye contact with them, and tell them that they are special and loved. I encourage you to partake in the gift that God has given to us. A child is waiting for you today.
Daniel L. Taylor
Georgia State Director