Wired magazine once ran an article on the five best toys ever. Wired is one of the most innovative, bleeding-edge publications you can read to learn about all things technological. Which is why, at first, the list surprised me, but then I realized their angle and couldn’t help but appreciate their wisdom.
Here’s the list:
4. Cardboard Tube
Anybody want to argue with them? I doubt it.
It’s an important reminder that the best things in life – and often in ministry, leadership, business and family – are the simple things.
The dilemma is how our culture seems to refuse to give simplicity a place.
But think about when it insists on intruding and the wake it leaves behind.
For example, imagine a snowstorm brings your town to a standstill. You stock up on bread and milk and a few other things you don’t really need, and when the storm hits you settle in. The power goes out, so you light candles and gather by the fireplace for warmth. Board games that have been gathering dust for years are pulled out. You play them and have more fun than you can remember. You venture outside and actually play—throwing snowballs, making snow angels, building a snowman.
It is golden.
You will probably talk, years later, about that magic night and how you’d give almost anything to go back and relive it and how you wish there was a way to recreate it in the here and now.
In a complex, always “on” world, perhaps what we need to remember is that we need to intentionally unplug every now and then. And this year more than ever before.
Even if it is just to remember that the best toys in the world – like the best times – are the simplest.
And, in truth, the most available.
That is my holiday wish for you. May you enjoy the simplicity and holiness that resides in the stillness between Christmas and the new year.
And maybe have some fun with a leftover box or two.
James Emery White
Jonathan Liu, “The 5 Best Toys of All Time,” Wired, January 31, 2011, read online.
*Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in 2011. The Church & Culture Team thought you would enjoy this annual tradition once again. Merry Christmas!
About the Author
James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunct professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, where he also served as their fourth president. His newest book, Christianity for People Who Aren’t Christians: Uncommon Answers to Common Questions, is now available on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller. To enjoy a free subscription to the Church & Culture blog, visit ChurchAndCulture.org, where you can view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JamesEmeryWhite.