Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Gift Game

We have all played it. The Gift Game.
Everyone sits in a circle and the gifts are placed in the center. There are several variations but basically the game is based on each person choosing a gift from the pile or choosing to steal a gift someone else has already opened.

One year at my extended families Christmas gathering, we were playing ‘the game’ as we had many other years.
My granddaughter, who had just celebrated her third birthday, was playing with her cousin on the other side of the room. As the game progressed I noticed her leave her place of play and make her way over to me. She came to stand in front of me and placed her little arm over the gift in my lap. Looking around the circle she said, “Nanna, this is your present. I don’t want them to take it away.”

I opened my mouth to tell her it was alright, that we were just having fun but the words died on my tongue.

We had taught her to be kind, to share and not take toys away from someone else. Now how was I to explain to her that it was okay for adults to behave as naughty children?

The game suddenly lost its appeal for me as I viewed it through her eyes.

Someone said that if it is wrong to do it, it is wrong to imitate it or to watch it.

Think about it.
How often do we indulge in double standards?
What do the things we laugh at reveal about who we are?
What about the TV shows we watch? Are our sympathies pulled to the side of the one committing adultery?
Do we allow violence, bloodshed, coarse language into our home through the media and yet teach our children it is wrong?
Have we been desensitised by images we see everyday, by opinions we listen to that are in conflict with God’s Truth?
Do we refrain from speaking out against something we know is wrong because we don’t want to ruffle feathers or be caught standing alone?

I understand why God said, “Except you become as a little child, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. 18:3)
Not childish, but childlike! Innocent and trusting, without guile, honest and true.

“Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart!”
(Psalm 15:1,2)

3 comments:

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Granddaughter is a girl after your own heart. Someone once told me if you want to stay out of trouble, hang with the little ones.
If what ever is happening would be wrong for a child to see, then it is time to rethink the activity.

And by the way..thanks for dropping by last night. Of course you were welcomed to spend the night, and I hope you had a good nights rest!

Nicki said...

Many parents/adults fall into the trap of telling their children do what I say not what I do. And it is so easy to do. Often you don't realise what you are doing (like this game which I have played a number of time in Christian and non Christian company). Thanks for the reminder to examine all our actions even those that seem like a bit of fun.

Lovella said...

The sensitivity of that little girl is just amazing. How precious she is.
I can see that my responsibility of role modeling will again feel so heightened.