In 1932 a carpenter in the small town of Billlund, Denmark created a toy company of small blocks that children could play with.
The company name was LEGO.
Just about everyone loves LEGOs. My nephews are currently 4 and 2 and they love these little bricks of creative goodness. Over Christmas my parents and my wife Sarah and I got Xander-- the 4-year-old-- the same LEGO set. We got him the same stinkin' toy. Same box. Everything.
He didn't care.
He just wanted to build.
Whether it's sandcastles, playdough, boxes in the closet, constructs (remember those?) or LEGOS, children have this almost compulsive need to build.
For a while I looked at my nephews with a jealous nostalgia. "Those kids are so lucky," I'd say. "They get to play with LEGOS." And my wife will buy me LEGOS every now and then.
But then I realized that when it comes to building, getting older actually makes it better.
We used to only be able to play with little plastic bricks. But as adults we have more resources and opportunity to build.
We used to be able to only make little LEGO cars. But now I have friends who design concept cars for Honda. We used to only be able to build castles in the sand. But now we get to build cities. We used to lead only the stuffed animals or action figures on the living room floor, but today-- if we choose-- we get to lead people into a better future.
The older we get the more we get to really build.
Which made me wonder: what am I building? What thing(s) am I giving my time and energy? What does it mean to live a life that builds well?
Incidentally, the word "LEGO" comes from the Danish phrase "leg godt."
It means "to play well." The latin means "to put things together."
May that be true of our lives as well.
May we put things together. May we play well. May we build.
Posted on Tue, January 26, 2010