The Joy of Swinging

Swinging is a simple pleasure. The joy of flying through the air, the thrill of seeing how high you can reach. Children love swings. It’s the first thing my niece wants to do when she goes to the park. And if we’re honest, and we can find a swing big enough to hold us, adults still love swings too.

I was walking past some playground equipment in a local park this morning. There were climbing frames, swings, Super Swings, and then – by far the coolest thing in the park – The Liberty Swing!

The Liberty Swing

I’d never seen one before, but the Liberty Swing is specially designed for people in wheelchairs or with other disabilities that don’t allow them to use a conventional swing. How cool is that?! The pure joy of swinging, available to people who previously could only watch someone else experience that joy.

A sign on the fence explained that the Liberty Swing is an Australian innovation, designed by Wayne Devine. It “allows wheelchair-bound children and adults the opportunity to experience the joy and freedom of having a swing in the park.”

I love that.

And what a great name.

Liberty – the definition includes the freedom from restriction and hampering conditions, from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint; and the power of doing something according to choice.

How precious are the simple joys in life – they shouldn’t ever be taken for granted. But more importantly for me, the Liberty Swing reminds me to embrace joy, even in circumstances which may not be of my choosing.

Life brings all kinds of difficulties, challenges, frustrations, pain and grief, but no matter what, we can still choose joy.

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Habakkuk 3:17-28