Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Not About Thanksgiving

I'm part of the "baby-boomer" generation and feel blessed to have been born when I was. Childhood came with the usual and even not so usual challenges, but for the most part it was full of fun and adventure.

As children, my sister and I could spend hours playing, together, with our Barbie dolls. We came up with all sorts of dramas. And of course Ken was part of the tale. I think the Ken doll belonged to me. Back then, Barbie was controversial.

My brothers and sisters and the kids in the neighborhood spent a lot of time playing together. If it was raining, which it often was in Kent, Washington, we'd play board games or games like "Hide the Thimble", or my sisters and I would spend an afternoon creating colorful outfits for our paper dolls. How many of you remember paper dolls? 

When the bad weather moved on we'd head outdoors where we challenged each other in baseball, tug of war, or hide and seek. There was also bike-riding, swimming, horse back riding, tag and games of Red Light - Green Light or Mother May I.

It was good healthy fun. We spent a lot of time with other youngsters, learning to live in a sometimes rough and tumble world. I remember a night time game of hide and seek where a neighbor boy sprinted across the field and then disappeared right in front of me when he fell into a deep pit (future basement of a house under construction). I nearly followed him in, but managed to leap across the corner of the pit at the last second. 

In the midst of the game-playing we learned about fairness, conflict resolution, competition and acceptance of defeat. It was fun and it was good for us.

So much has changed. These days, the young generation walks around with some sort of device in their hands, or they sit in a room alone communicating with someone via text, or playing a game where the opponent is a computer. It breaks my heart to think about all this generation and the upcoming generation is missing. They are being robbed of a real childhood by money-making tech companies and moms and dads who allow technology to babysit their kids.

This new technology was first presented as a helpful tool and at first that's all it was. But we have a wily enemy who knows how to use the tool as a weapon, a way to separate people and keep them alone. And he uses technology to expose our youngsters to things they shouldn't know about and absolutely should never see. We welcomed this weapon into our homes. And even now, I am engaging in the technology to share this message.

Is it all bad? No. Of course not. There are parts of this new technological world that I enjoy and appreciate, but if I had the power to step back and keep it from infiltrating our world I would. Yikes! Yep, it's true. Please don't hate me. :-) 

There are safeguards, if only parents will use them. And parents, one of your roles, is to protect your little ones. The Lord placed you in that position. You can do it. Many of you are (Way to go). If you're having trouble saying "no" to your kids, dig down and find the courage. They will thank you later.  

And then, get them outdoors, engaging with other kids in our big, beautiful world. There is so much for them to discover. Jump in with them.

The next time you look around the room and see that the people in your life are all staring at their phones, help them make another choice, at least for an hour or two. Put those devices away and do something else. 

Have some real fun. 

And may you all have a  blessed and happy Thanksgiving. I'm going to pull out some old fashioned board games. 

Grace and peace to you from God,


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