Recess was something I loved and remember well…. running as fast as you could to the playground to claim your spot on your favorite play equipment.
The big metal slide was enjoyed mostly on the cool days because of how heated it became on the sweltering days, it was like sliding down a hot plate.
The wooden teeter totter was the best if you wanted to get out some frustration. All you needed to do was find a partner who enjoyed bouncing high and possibly getting knocked to the ground.
The swings were great when the older boys wanted to play. They would give you a huge underdog push making the ride last for a long time.
And of course, the monkey bars. The year-round metal object where you could twist and turn to show off your gymnastic skills. Yet, the worst play object come winter when you were convinced by another student to put your tongue on the metal just for a second.
However, my favorite was the metal giant, the merry-go-round, which sat patiently waiting for all the kids to climb on it. There were three positions you’d want to claim; runner, sitter or center.
The runner would push and run at the same time. Making the metal circle go as fast as possible. I’d always hope there were a few strong boys who wanted to be the runner because they would get it going so fast you’d have to hang on for dear life. They’d make it fly and sometimes you’d felt sick after recess.
The sitter would strategically place themselves in-between the metal bars with their legs folded in and feet tucked under for stability. You always needed to make sure you weren’t too close to the outside edge of the wheel because there was a tendency to come loose and fall off. When I was the sitter I’d be ready to enjoy the ride making sure to keep my eyes closed, not even taking a little peek because at times you’d spin so fast you’d get dizzy.
The center was the prime position, the closest to the center of gravity. It was amazing spot to be because you could stand straight up with your hands in the air and even open your eyes and not fall. This by far was the place I wanted to be. But with only one spot open it was the hardest to get if you weren’t the fastest out of the classroom.
These are great memories and at times, my life feels like a playground, especially relating to the merry-go-round. Life spins so fast with all the responsibilities that are on my plate. Can you relate? We each have different obligations; being a mom of young children, a new job, financial pressures, health issues, elderly parents and possibly death.
On some days, I’m the runner – pushing and running as fast as I can. These days are exhausting and overwhelming. I find little satisfaction and I question myself, “Why I’m doing what I’m doing?” I can barely hang on and I feel like a might fall off.
On other days, I’m the sitter – sitting securely and quietly enjoying the ride of life. Being content at the quietness around me and being able to see the joys of life. I can feel the fast pace around me but I’m secure enough to let it pass by.
The best days I have are in the center - focusing my thoughts on the one that gives me life, God. My attention is centered and fixed on Him. He is the one closest to the center of my gravity. He allows me to be in the world but not of it, as John 17:16 NCV says, “They don’t belong to the world, just as I don’t belong to the world.”The world can be twirling, but when I am determined to ask God to be in the midst of my day it will be a good one. I will be able to stand firm in the middle of the revolving chaos of life. I will be able to have focus and direction.
Take heart and know that we each can make the decision daily to jump in the very center of the spinning world called “Life” and become focused and in control of the Merry-Go-Round of Life.