Several years ago, I remember sitting on my back porch and watching my twin boys play with, along with destroy, a newly purchased slip’n slide. For me, the simplicity of life was no where better captured than in watching them have fun on an overpriced piece of plastic.
Though we have advanced technologically beyond any of my childhood dreams (I think on my block growing up, slip’n slide was as techonoligical as we got), I don’t think it’s possible to improve on getting some kids together on a hot summer day with a water hose and a slippery piece of plastic.
Now for those who have not experienced the slip’n slide experience, you might be thinking, “What more can you do except just slide?” Well, let me inform you!
Though the basic premise of slip’n slide is to slide, it’s more than that. For instance, you don’t just slide, but see how far you can slide, how many ways you can slide (ie. frontwards, backwards, sideways, etc…), how fast you can slide, how wet you can get, how muddy you can get (don’t ask how this happens), how much water you can put on the mat, and any other game or competition anyone slip’n and slide’n can create.
The reason I believe in the beauty of a slip’n slide on a hot summer day is not just because it brings back memories for me personally, but because of the creativity and comradory that such a piece of plasctic in a backyard creates. As I watched my boys, I was amazed at how many different games and challenges that created that afternoon.
So many times in our culture, I feel that we are overly entertained. We have become numb to the simplicity of just sitting and enjoying a cool breeze on a summer day. Granted we might enjoy a cool breeze, but only as we sit with our iPhone checking email or news updates every few minutes.
I think we also can bring such overly entertained attitudes into our worship life as well. We no longer know how to be still or to be unplugged from email, text messaging, Facebook, and Twitter. I am not against any of these things. In fact, I use them daily. But I pray that I am aware of how they shape me. I sometimes wonder if technology is making us less human.
I know we can’t necessarily abandon technology, nor do I think we should. It is of great benefit to us. But for me personally, it does me good to occasionally take my Bible, along with a pen and a notebook, and find a quiet place to just sit and think and fellowship with my Creator.
My kids have video games and they enjoy playing them, but I really enjoyed watching them on the slip and slide that day. I really saw their personality and their ingenious minds at work. Though I do enjoy technology, I think for that summer day a few years ago, the slip’n slide was the best invention ever.