The teeter totter- religion column

Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 3, 2018

By Jonathan Filkins 

Perhaps the insurance actuaries have had something to do with it. In recent times, there has been a noticeable decrease in the number of teeter totters on children’s playgrounds.

In its stead, we have expansive exercise apparatus; replete with climbing walls, ropes and slick plastic slides. Of course, there are fewer moving parts to ensnare errant body parts.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

This is all well and good, or so it appears. After all, we need to keep the kids out of harm’s way.

Many of us will remember the poor classmate who wandered into the path of the rising, or falling, plank and then getting whacked in the process. Perhaps it was we who strayed. The natural outcome was lots of tears and, often, a quick trip to the school nurse. Given today’s strictures, and being under the aegis of numerous regulatory agencies, they too may be partially responsible for the decline in teeter totters.

After all helmets, joint pads, and even safety belts could be seriously considered as necessary.

Then, what about the danger of the equipment’s motion itself?

Perhaps an audible alarm and a safety fence would be required. Even with all of the aforementioned, the kiddos would also be required to have a properly certified and trained adult monitor present to ensure no harm.

Clearly it is better to eliminate the whole thing, rather than put up with all of the challenges of having a teeter totter, at all.

Yet, in any analysis, having a teeter totter and the governing regulations thereto, are all about balance. A rational person will readily acknowledge there is peril in all that we do; both as children and adults. If one end of our own internal “teeter totter” is out of balance, then we risk peril in our lives. If excess weight is placed on the beam, our judgment becomes unbalanced; to the point of immobility.

It is a tricky thing, this balance, and impossible to simply eliminate it within ourselves. We cannot simply be removed from our own emotional, psychological and mental playgrounds. It requires, of us, adjustment of the submission of our behaviors to pursue this balance.

Yet, we are never quite perfect, as we find ourselves tilting forever this way, or that.

It is the nature of the design, which God has for us, to be a bit askew in our lives. It is what makes us human.

As the children on the playground, we adults are often cajoled and directed to go backwards, or forwards, on this “teeter totter of life,” to better achieve this oh-so-necessary equilibrium.

As all of us so often seem to do, we do not like to be told what to do.

Regularly, our feelings get hurt, even when what we are being told is, in truth, very much to further our own benefit. 

God’s words, to each of us, are for this balance in our lives. The sacrifice of Christ Jesus was for us, so that we may have the balance in our lives of knowing Salvation. We may not always like what we hear and read in Scripture, but it is not there for our pleasure. It is there for our edification, so that we may read, mark, and inwardly digest these Holy Words; while keeping an understanding balance betwixt our Creator and His creation.