As a child, I found Playdough stressful. While there was the potential for fun, there was also the potential for failure.
My enjoyment of Playdough lasted only so long as I could keep the colors separated. Playing with colors individually = Good. Mixing colors = Bad, VERY Bad! This wasn’t a burden placed on me by my parents or my older brother. Without a doubt, it was self-inflicted torture. You see, if by chance the colors got mixed, there was no going back. It is completely impossible to separate the colors once Playdough has been combined. And being the very orderly (okay . . . compulsive) child that I was, I was constantly vigilant less the Playdough colors became “tainted.” Pity the poor soul who attempted to play with me when Playdough was the toy of choice!
Unfortunately, my dysfunctional phobia of Playdough carried into my parenting years. The anxiety I felt every time my children brought out the plastic jars of brightly colored putty limited the opportunities I would allow them to play with the substance. And on those rare occasions they were given that opportunity, Playdough time was very structured and supervised. “Don’t mix the colors!”
For many years, I worked very hard to keep another part of my life in separate compartments: things I viewed as “sacred” or “secular.” There were clothes I could wear, conversation topics in which I could engage, food I could eat, or activities I could do when I was being “spiritual.” But then there were times when I wasn’t intentionally being “spiritual,” and I considered that arena of my life as “secular.” Eating vegetarian—spiritual; ice cream for dessert—secular. Going to church—spiritual; going to school—secular. Talking to co-workers about Jesus was spiritual, but if the conversation turned to football—definitely secular.
Through the lives of others who have walked this journey longer than myself, I realized that these artificial dividers only caused confusion in my faith walk. It was like trying to live in two different worlds as two different people. It led to a belief that part of my life was acceptable to God and the other was less worthy.
Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.”
Life is large, and it’s filled with many different opportunities to explore the relationship God desires to have with us. I think it’s pretty awesome that those opportunities aren’t limited to certain times, places, or experiences.
I recently purchased several containers of Playdough for my granddaughters. I’m looking forward to watching them play freely with the colors, and encouraging them to express their imagination and creativity. I’m looking forward to doing a bit of color mixing myself.