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The tree swing
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

Pity those Americans who passed their childhood in areas where there are few, if any, trees to be found.

One of the all-time sport favorites for boys has to be playing on the tree swing. It may a rope that swings over water, or maybe just an old tire on a rope hanging from a tree limb, but it is a challenge that must be faced. Boys must always swing as hard and as high as possible. We can never allow a girl to outswing us. It just isn’t allowed. I guess it’s part of the “Boy’s code.”

Our swing was a rope hanging from a large oak tree on a mound of earth. In southeast Georgia we don’t have mountains, or even real hills, but there were two extremely large hills near our home. I have no idea how they got there unless it was extra dirt that was simply put there to get out of the way of building new homes. They were like small mountains to us with huge trees growing on them. Of course, someone had put a rope on an extremely large oak tree limb that was the real attraction for us boys. It was thrilling to swing out over the “gorge” formed between the hills. I had no sense of danger, I mean, the rope was strong, the limb was strong, and nobody ever fell.

However, just swinging was not enough of a challenge. We had to “hobo” on the swing. Now, a hobo swing was one where more than one person would swing at the same time. We actually had 6 or 8 boys on that swing at one time. One person would start swinging and others would grab hold each time the swing came back to its original starting point. Boy was that fun! Just a rope with a knot tied on the end hanging from a tree provided all the fun we needed.

I wouldn’t do that now. Age (and understanding) has stopped a lot of fun in my life as I realize the danger involved in some of these activities.

The Bible teaches us, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God,” so now I’m content to sit in the recliner and just remember that hobo swing. It’s safer. There are a lot of other things maybe we shouldn’t be doing that might tempt the Lord. Think about it!

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