Monday, October 1, 2012

Lessons from the Playground

Saturday night I walked over to the park with my mom and sister. I had not been on a swing for years and thought it would be fun. As I slowly started going up and down I found I loved feeling the wind through my hair. I started going higher and higher and found that I loved that "butterflies in my stomach" feeling as I would get really high and then quickly swing back down. I started to laugh at how much silly fun I was having...then I started to get motion sick and realized I was too old to be swinging, time to try out the slides!! I spent the next few minutes racing my sister up the stairs and down the slides. It was thrilling!

Life is full of up's and down's, so why don't we enjoy them just like we enjoy the up's and down's at the playground? From the time we are a toddler we are drawn to the up's and down's of swings and slides. We love the feeling we get as we soar through the air or speed towards the ground. Do we lose this love of adventure as we grow older? I don't think we do. You don't find many adults running around at the park, but go to Disneyland and you'll see plenty of adults experiencing these same thrills on fast moving roller coasters.So how do these adventures differ from the ones we experience in our daily living?

Each day we are faced with new high's and lo's. Each day is an adventure. Each day we get to choose how we are going to react to it. We love life when things are looking up. Sometimes we love going up so much that we take advantage of it and miss the opportunities to be grateful for the good times. When we realize that life is starting to pull us downward it can be scary. It's easy to want to curl up in a ball and never get out of bed. We don't like to face the down side of life and often cry out that it's too hard or too scary. We get those nervous butterflies in the stomach and wonder why we have to go through this. However, I believe that if we could take a lesson from the playground we can discover the thrill of going down in life as well. When you start going down in a swing or a roller coaster, and you get those butterflies in your stomach what do most people do? Laugh. Kids laugh the hardest as they swing down, all over amusement parks you hear the laughter as people raise their arms up and head downward. Is it scary? Yeah it can be, but when we laugh our way through the fear we find joy in the journey. When we laugh at the hard stuff we find our burdens become a little lighter.

The next time you find yourself experiencing the up's and down's of your life, I encourage you to appreciate the up's and laugh through the down's. I promise you will find life to be much more enjoyable when you treat it like a day at the park!