This activity didn’t go according to (my) plan, AT ALL! Don’t you love it when that happens?
First, we used sidewalk chalk and chalk-paint rollers (that are so much easier to use) to draw roads going in all directions. Justice wanted to add a pond and a race track, and Banks’ addition was a “construction site.” Our neighbor, Ellie, also really enjoyed setting the town up, and she drew STOP signs and added arrows to the roads. Sidenote: I actually think this game works better in a smaller space, so when we play this again, I’m planning to make the town half the size!
After the town was ready, we thought of a name for it and I shared the rules. First, everyone was to pick out a vehicle to ride, and we would play the classic game of Red Light, Green Light! The only difference was that they had to also obey the traffic rules. Stop at stop signs, only go the way the arrows pointed on the road, etc. They had fun doing this for a few minutes!
The next round was where it got tricky. I told the kids, this round is called “Mayhem,” because there are NO rules. Let’s see what it would be like to have NO rules to obey on the road.
One of the boys shouted, “But wait! Let’s just have one rule where you have to turn around when someone says red light.” I told them that sounded fun, but the whole point of this game was to have no rules so for now we would not have any rules at all. Then, Chip had to share his idea, “Okay Mom, but after someone is hit by a sword they have to be taken to jail.”
“What?! When did the swords and jail come in? That kind of sounds like a rule to me, Chip. For now let’s say no rules.”
“Ready, GO!” It was chaos.
Whew, at the end of Mayhem, I was flustered and exhausted. “Well, which one did you like better? ” I asked, “Following the rules or Mayhem?” As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew that was not the best question, and I was not going to like the answer.
“MAYHEM!” they all yelled. Oh my, that was a flop. Then, the wheels in my head started turning as I replayed what just happened in front of my eyes.
Chip was frustrated the entire round of Mayhem, because everyone was doing exactly what they wanted to do and no one was listening to each other. And, we could barely start the game, because everyone wanted to add in a rule or two. We all like knowing the rules of the game. Do rules actually give us comfort and keep everyone on the same page?
Then, we imagined if our Chalk Town had been a real road. Justice said he would have been so sad to see his Paw Patrol four-wheeler destroyed from driving through the pond. Banks wouldn’t have made it to his soccer game because of a flat tire after driving through the construction zone, and Chip, Ellie, and Jack would have been in the hospital for weeks with their injuries from all the collisions!
After I finished the lesson on obedience, the kids made up their own variations of the game and continued playing in our Chalk Town until dinner time! Success.
Later that evening, we talked about our take-aways from the game. Sometimes breaking the rules can seem fun! But there are always consequences for our choices. What were the consequences for Jonah after he chose to run away from God? What do you think might happen to us if we run away from God’s law?
Obeying God’s law gives us more JOY than we could ever imagine! Remember our verse for the month, “This is love for God, to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.” God’s law doesn’t weigh us down. It’s actually there to give us freedom! Thank you, Lord, for reminding me of this truth.