We just finished up with another week of Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Rosemont Baptist Church. VBS is one of our biggest outreach ministries and in bringing in both children and adults from the surrounding areas, we hope to plant the seeds of the Gospel that will someday bear fruit for God’s Kingdom in the form of their decision to accept Jesus as their Savior. VBS is a vitally important church activity and I wholeheartedly support it.
That being said, however, I must admit that where VBS is concerned, I am a big toe in the body of Christ attempting to function as a nose. I just don’t “smell” right. (Square peg in round hole.) Being a preschool teacher has never been in the top 5 of my spiritual gifts (or in the top fifty, for that matter). Nor has coming up with decorating ideas to fit the “theme” of every year’s VBS. And while I’m off the subject, I want to point out that I managed to make it through VBS in the dark ages without “themes,” decorations, music videos, and with cheap, store-bought cookies and kool-aid for snacks. Never-the-less, I want to be a team player, so I dutifully study the lessons, arrange activities to attempt to occupy preschoolers for more than five minutes (which inevitably involve thirty minutes of planning for each and $20.00 to prepare for), and reconcile myself to the fact that every night from 6:00-8:30, I will be surrounded by little people picking their noses, spilling their drinks, squabbling over which chair to sit in, and having to go “potty.” This is after finishing a full day at work, praying I will get out of there by five, rushing to get from Fort Walton to home, letting my poor dogs out who don’t understand why I am leaving them again when I just got home, scarfing down something to eat in the hopefully five minutes I have left, and making it to church before six. But even though I’m old, I can do anything for one week, knowing there is an end in sight. “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” (Phillipians 4:13).
So, it was with a sense of relief when Saturday finally rolled around, and I sat down to leisurely peruse the newspaper with my breakfast. And there, in the “faith” section was a column written by a pastor advocating that churches should do TWO WEEK LONG VBS! I almost choked on my cheerios! Now I highly doubt that said pastor has ever spent two and a half hours every night with preschoolers after a long grueling day at work. Nor, I’ll bet, has he struggled to come up with decorations to fit the “theme” of VBS. I wanted to censor his column before he put ideas into the heads of avid VBS enthusiasts all over town (such as the parents of the children who get a break every night while other people watch their kids.) But it was too late. The damage was already done. I was thinking of sending him hate mail or even threatening to turn preschoolers loose in his study after consuming huge amounts of sugar, but decided that probably wasn’t very Christian-like. So I will just leave matters at this – if his suggestion catches on, he had better be willing to step into all the places of VBS workers everywhere during the second week of VBS next year, or risk the consequences of hundreds of crazed VBS workers self medicating with massive quantities of chocolate!