A couple of months ago, I decided that I would commit to helping with Vacation Bible School at my church. I knew it would be tough. I knew that it would take time that I didn’t seem to have. But God worked in my heart to ensure that if I made the commitment, he would work all other things out. The reason I’ve wanted to participate for so many years is because it was at a VBS over thirty years ago that I caught my first glimpse of a God that was loving and kind. I hoped to be a tool for God to let another generation of children catch the same glimpse.
So here I am, getting ready to head into the last day of this awesome Sky VBS adventure! One of the messages we have tried to reinforce with the children is to look out for “God Sightings,” or ways that we can see God in our every day lives. VBS has been filled with so many God Sightings that I am overwhelmed. Here are some examples.
Sighting #1: Watching dozens of other adults, who also have busy schedules, take the time out to do important work for God!
Sighting #2: Watching children pray, with sweet words, for other children in need. It’s akin to hearing angels sing!
Sighting #3: Hearing Crew Leaders explain how accessible God is through prayer—respectful conversations with our Lord. When a child says, “Can you help me? I don’t know how to pray,” there is just an overwhelming sense of purpose to share this gift.
Sighting #4: Over 100 people, adults and kids, singing praise and dancing with a joyful heart, all together in the same room!
Sighting #5: Little conversations with my own children about their experiences at VBS and knowing that they are growing in His Word.
Sighting #6: Watching tweens and teens, who have taken on the responsibility as Crew Leaders and Helpers, act their age (as opposed to the wanna-be twenty-somethings that are so common today).
After VBS let out this afternoon, kids from about 10 to 16 years of age gathered under a coconut tree and played a game I had never seen. It was called “Poison” and it looked like a cross between Ring-Around-the-Roses and Musical Chairs. One of the kids who was sitting out explained the game to me. “The chair represents the World and all the bad things that are a part of it; hence, the name “Poison”. The players are getting pulled in so many directions and sometimes they get pulled right into the poison. They must try hard not to get sucked in. Wow! Double wow! I’m a nut for symbolism.
I watched these adolescents play this game, falling down and tripping over each other with an awe that I couldn’t quite put into words at first. After some thought, I realized why I was so struck by this game. First, I loved the idea that my daughters, who are heading into some of the most turbulent years of “our” lives would hold hands with other Christians and challenge themselves at this symbolic, yet very real challenge to stay away from the poison of popular world culture. Secondly, I wished that all children would have the chance to play this game and make the symbolic, but powerful journey away from the poison that sucks at everything in its midst—a world in turmoil.
Yes, I am exhausted. VBS is not for the faint of heart. But I feel privileged to have this opportunity to share God’s word with so many children and honored to be, just as they are, a child of God learning and growing through this experience.