Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Go outside and play"

I feel very fortunate to have been born before the rise in indoor games became such a source for children. "Go out and play," was not something my Mom had to tell me. There just wasn't anything to do inside - the outside held unlimited possibilities. Even though I was an avid reader the outdoors was my home away from home. As a result I have, since I was 6 been involved in organized sports of one kind or another. I learned to love tennis shagging balls for my Dad when only 4 - yes I remember that far back. Basketball was the focus in our family - especially when the University of Kentucky was playing. Dad would turn on the radio and turn it to the outside window and we would listen while playing HORSE or taking free throws in the driveway.
More recently various government agencies and not for profits have been encouraging parents to get their children outside. The desire is to reduce the waist line of America's young (and old). "The percentage of overweight children in the United States is growing at an alarming rate, with 1 out of 3 kids now considered overweight or obese." Obese is defined at having a higher BMI (Body Mass Index) than the 95th percentile. They go on to say,
"Many kids are spending less time exercising and more time in front of the TV, computer, or video-game console. And today's busy families have fewer free moments to prepare nutritious, home-cooked meals. From fast food to electronics, quick and easy is the reality for many people."
Maybe that could also explain the excess weight the local church carries. BMI could mean "Be More Inside" and a high BMI would mean low concern for people (including family, friends, and acquaintances) who are not following Jesus. Can it be said of us, 
"Like many churches, we are spending less time exercising our faith in our homes, workplaces, and schools and more time in worship, programs, and meetings. Like so many others are we busy with the insiders having less "free" time to invite and become involved in the lives of those we know who do not yet follow Jesus?"
I believe I hear our Heavenly Father saying, "Go outside and play for me."

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