"Anyone who has somebody else build their tree house for them is a terrible person." The guy from down the shore declared. "You should tell him I told you that." He recommended. "He'll think it's funny."
This conversation happened over facebook chat, sometime shortly after the guy from down the shore had built a treehouse for his nephews. When I saw pictures of the treehouse posted on online, I mentioned knowing another writer who would like a treehouse to use as a writing space. I suggested to the guy from down the shore that perhaps this writer might want to hire him for the project. But guy from down the shore thought this was a miserable idea. And the writer, at this point in his life, would probably agree given the fact he doesn't own any trees. (He could maybe sneaky build one in a public park, but then he'd be facing a disgruntled homeless person nearly every time he went in to work.)
Both the writer and the guy from down the shore have big kid tendencies. And by big kid tendencies, I mean they laugh and play a lot. They make a point to enjoy life regardless of all of the grown up responsibilities that are thrown at them.
Several years ago I had a professor named Chap Clark who pointed out to us in class that Jesus suggests the way to find rest for our souls is to pursue the ways of children.
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus is quoted as saying, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
But what is often overlooked is what Jesus said a few verses prior. Speaking to God the Father he states, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."
As the artist (see Big Kid Part III) outside the Met shared with me that he learned his painting technique from watching children, perhaps we should all consider more carefully the ways of children and apply to our lives their best techniques for finding the rest and laughter our souls need. After all, when it comes to children, Jesus insists, "The kingdom of heaven of God belongs to such as these."
So take time to play in the sand, go for a swim, catch a few fireflies, or take a nap. Play games with your friends, dance about, share a snack, and laugh. For in THIS the kingdom of God is at hand and we experience in the here and now the fullness of life that Jesus intends.