Everyday at 10:30 revival happens in first grade. I announce to my small students to put away their things, grab their jackets and line up. Bored, glazed over little eyes pop open, as they jump from their chairs and sprint to the door. I force them to walk in a calm, straight line all the way down the side of the building until we reach the end of the sidewalk. The instant their tiny feet hit the grass, they are allowed to run. When their feet touch the turf, screams of joy and delight erupt. They run at full speed across the field to the playground equipment. Their plots thicken the air as they debate what games they will play.
When I watch them run, I am reminded of a couple of verses of scripture. The first is Philippians 4:4, "Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again--rejoice!" These kids understand joy. They erupt with pleasure when they are set free every morning. I have been set free from sin and the grave, I need to be showing more joy in my life! Seeing the joy these kids experience makes me hungry to cultivate that character trait a little more in my life. I have a lot of quiet joy, but I could stand more exuberant excitement about the privilege of following Christ.
The other verse is Philippians 3:14, "I run straight toward the goal to win the prize that God's heavenly call offers in Christ Jesus." My students are goal oriented, whether they are trying to get to the monkey bars, the swings, or the tether balls. They run at absolute top speeds, trying to break the speed of light on their way to acquiring their desired location. Lately I have been watching their determined burst of speed and wondering what my life might look like if I ran after God with that same intensity and passion.
Just a couple of thoughts from the playground: Live joyfully, run harder.