This appeared in the Charleston Gazette - Sunday, August 15, 2010~
My mother used to say I was born lazy. While I didn't appreciate her insensitive remark, I must admit that I've never been a bundle of energy. But I do the best I can with what I've got. So when I was asked to help with Vacation Bible School at my church, I was there on the first day with the proverbial bells on to help guide dozens of young, noisy children in fun activities and learning about God. My first impression was that not one among them was "born lazy." These were very energetic kids!
VBS lasted Monday thru' Friday starting at 6 p.m. and lasting until 8:30 each evening. Being a volunteer was definitely enjoyable, edifying and sometimes amusing, but it was also challenging. While the children were still going strong on the last day, most of us leaders were looking and feeling a little frayed around the edges. Ah, but much had been accomplished. Many songs and Bible verses had been learned, a different craft project constructed each day, tasty snacks enjoyed, new friends made, dozens of pictures taken and a great deal of energy consumed. And the children were sorry it was ending.
As I walked away from the church that last evening, I was a little sorry, too. Even I had made new friends. There were three young boys in the group for which I was responsible that don't go to our church. All three were agreeable, well-mannered and funny. I enjoyed spending time with them. One of them unabashedly hugged me and said he hoped to see me next year.
When all is said and done, it doesn't matter how weary our bodies and minds are; what does matter is the fun week the kids had and, most importantly, the real possibility that we have helped to guide a few of them in the right direction. When the same ones keep coming back year after year, we are almost certain to have done that.
Numerous volunteers, of all ages, made our VBS a success. They gave up their own activities to come every evening and assist in whatever capacity was needed. It was heartwarming to see so many people working together for the good of these children.
In a perfect world, we would treat each other with kindness, never hurt anyone and live our lives as Jesus instructed us – by doing good and loving others. But, unfortunately, our world is far from perfect. So, in an attempt to make it better, those who have learned that living in God’s love and grace is the only way to have a happy, productive life, must share that knowledge with others. And the best place to start is with the very young.
That’s why I said, “Yes” to helping with Vacation Bible School – and probably will for as long as I’m able.
Have a wonderful day - and remember to live in the moment!
This story also appears in my book, Somewhere in Heaven My Mother is Smiling~