– Monday Muse –
Can the wearing of flip-flops be contributing to the reduction of our children’s physical activity? At first glance the sentence appears ludicrous, but let’s think about it for a minute. Doesn’t what we wear on our feet either secure our stance for motion, or cause us to saunter throughout our day? Aren’t flip-flops more of an outdoor slipper than a shoe? Have either of us ever seen athletes compete in flip-flops? No, for they are doing their best to meet the challenges of the day…putting their best foot forward, as they say. Shouldn’t our children be given that advantage as well?
Things change over the years, some of them for our good, and some not so much. A few years ago, nearly all children wore tennis shoes for play, and school. Recently, again my kind of recently, Ron and I had parked our bikes at the city beach to refill our water bottles. While there, I noticed a family who was walking the trail which skirts the park. It was a family of five. The youngest child, a girl, mid-elementary age, was lagging behind, struggling to keep up with them.
She was, as nearly all children do these days, wearing flip-flops which kept her from keeping up with her family. She was frazzled, frustrated, and falling further behind, while the family was unaware of anything, but the beautiful open sky, crystal-clear water, and long, sandy beach.
One, if not both, of the little girl’s flip-flops kept falling off. She would frantically right her shoe, slide her foot in, and take a few hurried, catch-up steps. Within just a few scrambling steps, one would fall off again. Still, she never cried out words of complaint, or picked up, and carried the footwear in her hands. I suspected she, and her parents, had become so accustomed to the slip-on convenience of flip-flops that they were blind to the hindrances.
Nearly all of us have witnessed children hampered by their footwear. We have seen a chase begin, or a child trying to climb a ladder to a slide, or one trying to jump rope when a flip-flop flopped…leaving them foiled again.
Perhaps that is why, other than scheduled events, we rarely see children playing softball, basketball, or such activities as climbing trees, or running around playing Hide and Seek. For honing athletic skills, and participating in outdoor exploration are not compatible with flip-flops. These days children often seem to just saunter through their days. Surely, if it was their habit, they would prefer running like the wind, or playing something like King of the Hill. A sedentary way of life is too high a price to pay for the convenience of slip-on over tie-up shoes. Isn’t it?
All of this thinking about walking through daily life with a hindrance makes me think of another…forgoing a quiet time with God. Surely, that could cause a person to stumble.
“He makes me as surefooted as a deer, enabling
me to stand on mountain heights.” Psalm 18:33
If you would like a Monday reminder, and quick link, in your email to next week’s post, just sign-in at the secure registry at the top of this page, and click GO. For a private conversation, please write your message on the Contact page.