This is one of my favorite expressions.    We use it all the time in our business in Albuquerque and from time to time here at work.  It’s a pretty simple metaphor, when you watch children playing together they are able to live and create and imagine some of the most incredible stuff.   There’s a freedom and exuberance in their play that is refreshing.

In life, this gets more complicated but no less important a goal of interpersonal relationships.   Can’t we all play nice in the sandbox?

I’m reading through the book of Romans in the New Testament of the Bible right now.   For me, it’s one of the hardest books to read, it’s the most confusing in terms of content and causes me the most question and wrestling.   It’s just a very weighty book.  I’ve been pushing through and emerged in chapter 12 this morning with a small epiphany.   Paul is trying to get the early church to play nice in the sandbox. Even 2000 years ago, the church needed to hear that message.
Something in Paul’s message unfortunately isn’t sticky enough to actually change our behavior, actions and opinions.    It might be that it’s just a really complicated deep delivery, or that it’s argued using vernacular and examples that had more connection then.   There has got to be an analogy or a metaphor or a story, a way of explaining what it means to live with unity and oneness in Christ in a way that will actually change how we act?   Maybe it has to start with a sandbox.  What do you think?

If given the opportunity to talk to all the church leaders in America for 10 minutes, what would you put before them to get them to play nice in the sandbox?

By the way, just so you know, my worst injuries always came in the sandbox.   My middle brother bashed me on the head with a trowel and sent me to the hospital for stitches, so you do have to have people willing to play nice too.



  1. 1 David (Marketing Integrity) February 2, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Thanks for the reflections Jason. Your post makes for some personal reflection for all of us. This message is equally as important and relevant today. Churches and Christians need to learn how to play nicely together. After all, we were placed in this sandbox by God and he has asked us to work together and be a good example of diversity working together for the glory of God. Sadly this doesn’t play out the way it should. At the foundation, all Christians and Christian Churches believe basically the same basic fundamentals. But, when we get playing together we tend to feel we are doing it “right” and others not so much. We don’t like the tools or toys they use to play with and communicate the message of God’s love, hope, and peace. We really need to start encouraging each other and stop tearing each other down. God will do the judging. Let’s just let Him. In the meantime, lets play nice so people looking from the outside may want to join in the game and experience a freedom and purpose that they are desperately longing for.

  2. 2 Anna Taylor February 4, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    I’ve been thinking about this idea this week as you mentioned it, and as I myself have begun to read Romans. It is definately a weighty book, but when you are a child some one has to teach you what it looks like to play nice in the sandbox. It takes some practice and some paternal reprimanding for a child to learn what “play nice in the sandbox” really means. I wonder if Paul is trying to teach the Romans what it means to get along.

    By the way, my brothers and I also had a sandbox stitches incident.

  3. 3 Matthew Taylor February 16, 2009 at 9:02 am

    I used to tried to play nice in the sand box, but the cats kept covering me up…

    I took the victim of Sandbox violence to the hospital. What was remarkable was how quickly the victim forgave the spade holding attacker…

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