Wednesday, July 25, 2012

counting my blessings

This has been a busy week. I've been running early every morning, going to workshops during the day, and teaching at Bible school each night. And I haven't done any of it witih a willing and happy heart. Especially the VBS part. Isn't that sad to admit! I know, I should be embarassed to own up to it. But there's no use in pretending. I have grumbled and griped all summer long about it. But I knew that I needed to adjust my attitude. How can I do a good job of teaching God's message when I have such a bad attitude about it? I'm telling you, I was worried about it. But I just couldn't get in the right frame of mind. Until tonight. Tonight's lesson was about Jesus and John the Baptist. In the lesson I had to do the introduction and then pretend to be John the Baptist at the River Jordan. After telling about baptising Jesus I asked the kids "What would you give to have Jesus in your life?" And before I even finished the question, Layla (going into first grade) gets big eyes and breathes a very sincere "Everything!" And I felt a chink in my hardened heart just fall away. The kids discussed that they would do anything needed to be close to Jesus. And then I said "Well you all are telling me all sorts of things that you would do - even that you would give everything that you have to know Jesus, but what's the only thing that you HAVE to do?" And again before I had finished to question good, seven-year-old Austin whispered, "Ask. All you have to do is ask." I'm telling you, I heard that hardened heart of mine just crack wide open. When I had finished the lessons, I went into the sanctuary where the groups were gathering for the night's closing. Each year we group the kids and the UMY teenagers serve as team leaders. I sat there and watched as those teenagers danced and chased and laughed and witnessed to these kids. No grownups were forcing them to dance. No one said "You have to hug the kids in your team." It's a rule that each teenager is responsible for the safety of the kids on his or her team, but these leaders do so much more than make sure the team members are safe. They help with check-in. They clean up messes. They help with snacks. They sing and dance. They tie shoes and replace hairbows. They hug. They laugh. They play games. They chase and chase. They listen. They praise. They love. And again, I felt my heart just burst. If you are one of those parents who have brought or sent your kids to VBS this week, I thank you for allowing me to share my nights with your babies. And if you are the parent of one of those UMY teenagers, I just can't tell you how much those kids impress me on a daily basis. They are amazing. It is an honor to watch God work in them and through them.

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