Friday, March 14, 2014

Your App of Choice

     Once upon a time there lived well-loved and beloved play companions of Michelle and Drew. These companions were Big Jake and Little Trike.
(Google Image)

And so began our opening lines to the make believe stories we would tell our five and three year old children.  It all started as a way to keep them occupied and quiet as we traveled through two European countries looking for God’s call on our lives.

Obviously, this trip was prior to “Apps” or Ipads, lap top computers, Iphones, smart phones, even cell phones!  So quiet accidentally Greg and I rediscovered the hidden art of story telling.

Google Image
Much like the Canterbury tales we were looking to find a way for our (very busy and often too talkative) preschoolers to manage the many hours of travel. At that time our children were enjoying Barney the dinosaur, Steve Green and the “Hide them in Your Heart” music VHS tapes.

We had to leave all that behind to seek God’s plan for our family.  We would tell the stories of Michelle and Drew’s outdoor toys; a battery powered four wheeler and a red tricycle. 
Google Image
We told them stories of the now personified toys getting lost or hungry or wanting to stay up late.  We gave them emotions and feelings and put them in situations that greatly reflected our own on foreign soil.

The children hated the cliffhangers, as we would reach a destination.  They would beg for the next excerpt as we would climb into whatever form of transportation was taking us to our next location.

As parents, these are fond memories.  Truthfully, on occasion the children will recount these stories complete with their own memories of where we were and their understanding of what was happening around them.

Story telling is a lost art.  We have been blessed with so many “apps” we have no need for our own words or imaginations.  I encourage you to make up a story with your children this week.  Rather than jumping in your SUV and turning up the tunes or handing over your Ipad, try story telling.  It is a stretch.  It does take your attention and imagination.  These stories could be the beginning of a new type of deposit in your child’s relational and developmental bank.

I don’t regret the time we spent making up stories for the children.  I’m grateful we took that long trip with our preschoolers and we didn’t have the modern conveniences that we have today.   Is it OK to say I’m really glad they didn’t have an app for that?

My challenge this week is to put up your techie gadgets and play with your children.  Whatever age they are, find yourself “present” with them. Maybe story telling will become your new "app" of choice.

Psalm 78:4-6
New English Translation
we will not hide from their descendants.
We will tell the next generation
about the Lord’s praiseworthy acts,
about his strength and the amazing things he has done.
He established a rule in Jacob;
he set up a law in Israel.
He commanded our ancestors
to make his deeds known to their descendants,
so that the next generation, children yet to be born,
might know about them.
They will grow up and tell their descendants about them.

No comments:

Post a Comment