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Playground Rules: Part 2 – Quack

Quack Seat Back!

The other night in my small group we were studying
the book of James. We came across this passage
which inspired this blog post:
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus
Christ, don't show favoritism. 2Suppose a man
comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and
fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also
comes in. 3If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say,
"Here's a good seat for you," but say to the poor man, "You stand there" or "Sit on
the floor by my feet," 4have you not discriminated among yourselves and become
judges with evil thoughts?

Let me define “Playground Rules.” When I say playground rules, I don’t mean a list
of dos and don’ts posted in your child’s school.

1. No running
2. No fighting
3. No gum chewing

I am talking about the unwritten laws that govern the playground to which kids
naturally gravitate. These rules are not explained in class. They are not posted
anywhere on paper in the school. However, they are understood by everyone.
They emulate real life much more than the artificial “laws” posted by the idealistic
higher ups. Yes I know… although to some this is ugly, they have bullies, fights,
name calling, etc. Some learn to play the playground well, others not so well.
Some people have an “unfair” advantage, some a disadvantage. It is not a place
show weakness; however strength comes in many forms. Having good contacts is
the key to success. Lasting memories, friends, and experience are the gift to be
taken away. Sound like real life? You can try to “beat” this truth with laws and
rules and “fairness,” but it is futile. This is a broken
world filled will sin, and selfishness, and even some
“might makes right.” If you try to change this de facto
set of playground rules, you might as well try to make
the ocean waves go the opposite direction. But… the
playground is also a wonderful place to learn respect,
camaraderie, and wisdom. Don’t fight it, go with it,
and learn how real life works…

Back to the passage: when we read this it made me

think of the way my friends and I would handle who sat
where at any given time. There are three playground rules that come into play
here. First is the shotgun rule. Everyone knows how to play the shotgun game.
When a group is walking to the car, the first person to yell, “shotgun” gets the front
seat. All others must respect this rule and sit in the back. Next is an I get my seat
back when I get up rule. This one is the same premises with most people, but it can
have different key phrases. For instance, my friends would, (while still touching their
seat) announce, “quack, quack, seat back.” This would ensure that your seat would
be saved. All of the others had to respect this rule. There are other statements
that apply depending on your particular group and the playground rules they have
set forth. Some say, “Jax Max, Savies, Dibs, etc.” They all mean the same thing.
The last rule related to this is the Call It rule. For instance, some friends are walking
to the house from the car to watch a movie. One of the guys yells out, “I call
couch!” Bam, he gets the couch.

See how these rules are perfectly in-line with the passage above? It does not
matter if you are rich or poor; you still have to “call it,” or “quack quack,” or
“shotgun” it if you want to have your chair. Jesus said don’t favor the rich person.
Use playground rules and you will be safe. I know, I know, there is some poindexter
professor out there who will try and tell you that this is bunk. He never did learn to
play the playground well. Now he is bitter. Again, sound like life?

Written by Chris Vasecka

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