Saturday, May 19

damn the swinging chain link ladder?

I spent a few hours in the sun yesterday setting up for a kids' carnival sponsored by my company. I was with my friend Stephanie. During some down time...during which I caught some serious rays, and have once again increased the likelihood that I'll die of skin cancer...I know its not really funny...anyway...Stephanie and I were discussing childhood, and recess and REAL play time.

Remember the was the wavy stood alone in the park...just taunting you to climb to the top and the unstable chain wall that hung down one side. It was made of metal...the whole thing...and it stood fairly tall...It taunted me for much of my childhood...put the fear of God in me that slide did...but I remember the first time that I made it up the side of that ladder...well it was more of a swinging chain link fence...I stood at the top of the proud of myself...and then sat down on the hot metal..trying to keep my skin from toughing so that A) I would not get burned and B) I would slide faster...(cotton makes less friction on metal than my skin). As I child I thought it was all about getting to slide down the wavy slide to the bottom...and that indeed was thrilling!!

I climbed that thing many more times and enjoyed the ride down...but as a pseudo adult I realize it wasn't about the was about climbing that ladder. The slide was the perk, the entertainment...that slide was only fun because I had to work for it. imagine if there was an escalator to take kids to the top...I don't really think the slide would be all that worth it. After time we would lose interest. It is the same way with our lives...if we don't have to work for it...its not nearly as worth it. We may still enjoy it from time to time...but we will never receive true exhilaration from the slide because there was really no effort to get there...the exhilaration really came when I got to the top of the ladder...when I looked down to the ground...twenty feet or so?...and saw how far I really had come...that I had bested my fear of the swinging chain link fence, and made it to the top.

So it is with out lives...they will be so much the richer, so much the fuller after we've climbed all the daunting, swinging, chain link ladders and made it to the top. Our joy is fuller because of the challenges that lie in our pathway. As we face them head on, not cowering in a corner...we will find the exhilaration.