A few weeks ago I had an amazing opportunity to visit North Dakota with our church choir. Besides singing every night there was one morning activity planned to visit the kids of Turtle Mountain Reservation. No it’s not a literal turtle looking mountain lol, actually the town we visited was Dunseith, which means “city of peace”.
A small town in the middle of flat lands, the scenery was beautiful. We knew we were going to be helping with the Native American children. Once we got there they were all so eager to see who came and what we were going to do. With some activities and crafts planned we played with them and had beautiful interactions. On the basketball court I had seen a dead rodent with a string tied up. I wondered- do they play with them? Kept on playing hopscotch.
After being there a while I seen it all play into action, the children are experts in catching gophers coming out of their holes. I was surprised at the skill, I immediately thought how my two boys and my husband would want to do this. These little gophers are fast and tiny. The patience required to stand still with the string ready to loop the gopher is one that needs to be extremely alert and ready. Each child that did it caught one. I was amazed. It truly brought me joy, some were grossed out at the fact of a dead rodent but I couldn’t help but find it fascinating.
I’m sure it has taken them many trial and errors to learn that skill but they are good at it now. I could see the smile every time one of them caught one and honestly I was proud too! That moment brought me a smile too, in the middle of a field with kids all around, different things happening. It was simple and truly joyful. I have felt simple joy recently and I like it. No big plans or gimmicks-enjoying the small things.
Takes me back to that scripture-God delights in the details. Psalm 37:27 I want to celebrate small things with all my heart, to be grateful and thankful for the small puzzle pieces that make the big picture. Children skillfully catching gophers for fun is certainly one of them.