The force of nostalgia (in honor of May the 4th)

land speeder.jpg

I once lived about a mile from a Toys R Us. We didn't have much money or time and we had little kids. Toys R Us was an oasis. I can't remember how many times we went, probably hundreds. We had great kids and they did not whine and fuss to get more toys, but there eyes lit up as we walked down the aisles. 

At the same time, Star Wars was rebooting. We had a chance to share the experience together. I can remember so many times going to the store, walking to the Star Wars aisle and looking at the characters protected in their plastic cases and Hans Solo frozen in carbonite. Then there were the really big toys, always out of our reach. There was a huge Lego ship that had hundreds of pieces it was so expensive that we could never pull the trigger, but we wanted it together.

 It hard to believe that ToysRUs is closing. Our family grew up sharing it as a family place. We went to New York when the kids were little and visited all of the tourist locations. We also visited the ToysRUs in Times Square. It was huge and colorful and amazing. Recently as the boys have gotten older we have walked into the store to buy gifts for cousins and kids and it is always a nostalgic walk. 

Last week we visited the Tyler store. The discount signs were around the parking lot. We went looking for a deal. We walked slowly up and down the aisle. I compared the discounted prices with the Amazon prices and and found that the sales prices were still higher than the online prices. We bought a couple of toys that were a good deal. Then after we checked out, just past the register we saw the Landspeeder.  It is huge. It is beautiful. It is electric. It is big enough for 2 kids. It is on sale! I really wanted it. If I still had little kids, I suspect I would own it. We left it sitting in the store. I didn't notice till I got home that it was made by the Radio Flyer company. That catapulted me back to our red wagon. 

When I was little we had one and would pull the handle up and fly down hills. It was our version of a Land Speeder. We hauled stuff in it. With our imaginations and that wagon we could be on the western frontier or the middle of the ocean. It was our time machine and transporter. 

The best play grows from the imagination. I'm sad that one of the imagination destination is closing. The best world grows when we imagine things getting better. Imagination is the engine of change and the future. Imagination is about hope. I'm so grateful that I get to work in one of the most future oriented churches and with open minded people. There is a verse from Ephesians that rolls around in my head frequently, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (3:20). I love that God defines the boundaries of imagination and invites us to dream bigger and better.