Sandbox Theology

From a distance, I watched two little boys hunched over in the sandbox. One sported a mop of platinum curls and wore an orange Kool-Aid mustache. In typical little boy fashion, he skidded and careened a plastic truck through the sand, crashing into the other toys in a spectacular display of vehicular manslaughter. The other little boy, taller and thinner, sat off to the side and quietly observed.

After a minute, Curly got bored with the truck and set off on another search and destroy mission. Slim watched Curly saunter off. After he was sure he wasn’t coming back, he claimed the truck for himself and set about road building.

Curly turned to see Slim with the truck. He ran back to sandbox and tried to snatch it away. Slim, fearful yet determined, stood up and clutched the plastic truck to his chest. His father stood off to the side and watched. “Stand your ground,” he quietly encouraged without intervening. They struggled with the toy, back and forth, wrenching, twisting and turning. Although timid by nature, Slim held fast, secure in the knowledge that his father was nearby. For reasons known only to Curly, he gave up the struggle and decided to move along.

Alone in the sandbox again, Slims’ father came over and sat by him. “You were right to stand up for yourself,” he said, “but the next time that happens, why don’t you just give him the truck and say, “Here, if it means that much to you, I want you to have it.”

Slim is my three-year-old son. The lesson in the sandbox that day probably washed over him like the autumn breeze. So for now, for these few years that he is mine, I will continue to try to teach him sandbox theology — to be secure in the knowledge that his heavenly father is always nearby, watching over him, to bravely stand up for who he is in Christ while yielding to the needs and desires of others, because it is Godly to do so.

And maybe in the process, I can learn these things myself.

20 thoughts on “Sandbox Theology

  1. Loved this story…such a good lesson for all of us.
    I also loved the post below with the wonderful photo of you and Sean- your little bear cub. 🙂 I could so relate…

    Great new place here! 🙂

  2. And kudos to antique daddy for standing by quietly and letting the scene play out the way it did.

    And what a parallel to God, our father , standing close by when someone is testing us. He is quietly watching over us, ready to step in if we call to Him for help. And how much braver we can be knowing our Father is there.

  3. We sometimes forget these lessons we have learned until we see our children going through them. Great post.

  4. What a great lesson. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in protecting and defending ourselves and forget the way of Christ.

  5. Awwwww, you just made me cry. I just visited BigMamas and she was talking about crying over the Wonder Years b/c she has PMS and I agreed and how I had just cried about something on the radio and the internet and then you go and make me cry again. Will it never end!!!

    But seriously, beautiful picture and post. Sandbox Theology-the world could use a lot more of that. Maybe you could write a Sandbox Theology book.

    Like the new place.

  6. What a beautifully written post. I’m amazed at how much I learn in the process of trying to teach my son right from wrong. And I find myself trying to be a better person, for him and for myself.

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