There are children of all ages in our Church, and Sunday mornings before the service it’s often a bit like Piccadilly Circus in the rush hour! They are a lively bunch, ranging in age from 4 up to 12, older ones tend to gather in groups chatting or texting. The younger group will find almost anything behind or under which to hide whilst playing Hide and Seek and, until it’s rendered impossible, they will often “climb Mount Everest” over the chairs! Then it’s back to the iPod or Tablet. But it’s lovely to see them enjoying themselves and it made me realise just how much children’s games have changed over the years.
One of my favourite games when I was a youngster was usually played indoors. It was simply “Shops”. My sister was the shopkeeper and I had to do the shopping. We had already set it up with any empty packets Mum had saved for us, plus whatever we could beg or borrow from the pantry – things like Bisto, scrubbing soap, Lux flakes, Mansion floor polish, Cardinal red tile polish, bottles and jars of various pastes and tins of whatever we could find. We improvised a counter and then the shop would “open”. “Good morning”, my sister would say as I entered the “shop”, “what can I get you today?” I would “buy” several items, using bottle tops as currency, then after completing my shopping I would have to return it all so that the next customer could be served. (Me again!) We loved it and it cost practically nothing to set up. After our game the items would be returned to the pantry ready for Mum to use for meals.
I was talking to someone recently who said her little girl wanted to play “Shops” so they set it up together and the lady was the customer. As she was serving her Mum, the little girl said, “And where are you going on your holidays this year?” How times have changed.
Another game that we played was hopscotch. We would draw the outlines and off we’d go, hopping from square to square with feet astride the double ones. No touching the lines or you were OUT! It was always drawn on the pavement; flagstones were perfect as the “lines” are already there! I was reading the rules online before I wrote this and it all seems so complicated but we just did it! I saw in an online newspaper recently that a young girl was told that drawing hopscotch grids on the pavement could render her liable to criminal damage! How easy it is to steal a child’s innocence.
Other games were Tick (a chasing game), Marlies (marbles), Fives (tennis without a racquet, only palms) and Cowboys and Indians. Boys (and sometimes girls) would gallop around on their “horses”, pretending they were Roy Rogers. If we didn’t have the equipment to play these games then we’d use our imagination. Trees were great pieces of equipment. Climb to the top and you’re “King of the Castle”, hide in them from the Sheriff of Nottingham, break off a small branch and make a bow and arrow. A tree was also a hideout or a house. Cardboard boxes came in useful, too. They could be a car, a train, a boat. The possibilities were endless. We had fun and it seemed to me that it never rained.
And yet, over the years, there is one thing that has never changed, and never will.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
(Hebrews 13 verse 8).
God has existed for eternity past and will exist for all eternity to come. He is without beginning or end. He is perfect and therefore cannot change for the better and will not change for the worse. His plans to bring something about cannot be changed.
His promises to his creation seen throughout the Bible will come to pass as they always have, without change.
He sees everything we do and hears everything we say. HE IS GOD.
Why not Google Him today, you won’t be sorry and, who knows, you might change!