If recess wasn’t already the highlight of my 9-year old day, it was about to get better. Ms. Rojas just turned down the lights, and it could only mean one thing: it was time for my favorite game: Heads Up 7-Up! (And everyone’s inner child does a little dance!)
Seven of my classmates were randomly selected to be “up,” while the rest of us put our heads down on our forearms, and kept one thumb up. Those that were up had to tag one person each, and whoever was tagged had to identify that person for a chance to be up.
With my head firmly planted like the good sport that I was, I channeled my four other senses. I listened intently for their breathing style and the quick shuffle of their feet, and focused on the texture of their excitedly sweaty fingers (I was not as excited about this part). I also tried to remember who played harder at the playground to explore the various scents on my classmates, and then would begin to list out my options.
“Heads up 7-up!” all seven of them would yell as the lights go up, and my eyes would swiftly scan my classmates to see who closely matched the picture in my head. Most of the time I got it right, and every so often I got it wrong. Oh to be nine again!
Fast forward to the present, as the world slowly begins opening up, I notice how my calendar is starting to look more like it did pre-pandemic. My older mind-eyes now become a little weary every time I see it after having had a taste of the simpler life the pandemic allowed some of us to have. While I had my share of busy while working from home with the kids, I also never felt closer to the Lord. There were less distractions.
But now, with my face buried into my devices or back in my social circles and favorite spaces, I see how easy it would be to forget. If life were a Heads Up 7-Up game, there’s a good chance I won’t be nearly as attentive because now this mature body would fall asleep as soon as the lights go out, OR I’m simply too busy in my head to even participate.
But what might I miss?
I think of the Parable of the Ten Virgins - the one with five who were prepared and five who weren’t. They all fell asleep from waiting for the bridegroom, but only the prepared were welcomed. The other five were dismissed, and Jesus ends the story with this warning: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13
How about you? If the Lord tapped your thumb, would you look up? Have you spent enough time with Him to know what He sounds, smells, and feels like? Would you be able to identify Him from the line up of other folks tapping us for our attention?
I know we’re all eager to go back to “normal,” to do the things we missed out in the crazy time called 2020. But as we do, may I encourage you to not lose sight of who we are and whose we are: Children of the one true God. So Heads Up 7-Up! Do you know who tagged you?