“Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play.” ~Heraclitus
I nestle into a warm form-fitting spot on a colourful beach towel and watch the children. This boy has a plan. He has a vision. He digs. He moves the earth, forming mounds and channels with shovels and pails and his own bare hands. Towers grow on foundations he creates. Monuments to industriousness spring up where only impressions of bare feet dented the wet sand before he arrived. He pats towers into temporary permanence.
No one tells him what to do. When he finished throwing stones into the water, a ritual all boys must follow, he picked up his tools and got to work, as oblivious to the calls of his siblings as he is to the seagulls.
They both steal his potato chips. It doesn’t matter. He is creating. He creates because he was made to create. It’s who he is. He builds because he must build. It’s who he is becoming.
The Creator made him in His image. He carries the Creator’s purpose somewhere deep inside. He is a child of God and must be about his Father’s business. His play is his work.
I watch and remember the Spirit of Wisdom saying:
I was there, close to the Creator’s side as his master artist.
Daily he was filled with delight in me
as I playfully rejoiced before him.
I laughed and played,
so happy with what he had made,
while finding my delight in the children of men.
(Proverbs 8:30,31 TPT)
It is the nature of the Godhead to laugh, to play, to find delight in each other, to find delight in their creation.
I can see the source of their joy in this boy, on this beach, on this day.
I watch the children play on the beach under the warm summer sun. Cool water laps against the division of water and land. The afternoon breeze skims over the lake and rises to play with trembling aspen leaves and sing through fir tree branches. Ospreys soar in a blue sky too full of light to see with unshaded eyes.
The boy straightens up and stands like Colossus with sand-covered legs astride the harbour. His hands, like mighty David’s hands, still hold pail and shovel like weapons of praise at rest.
“Look what I made!”
He smiles. He is proud. He knows.
I feel God’s pleasure.