Thursday, July 11, 2013

Time Marches On

I am getting old.  It's true.  It has been sneaking up on me for years now, but this year feels very striking.  I have been a part of leadership for Vacation Bible School for over 20 years and in the early days I had almost as much energy as the kids.  I've done everything from crafts and bible study for teens to story time and director.  I have had the pleasure of doing this awesome program with four church communities, two in which I was on staff with.  My entire adult life has had VBS woven through it and there were only about 2-3 years in the middle where I did not participate because I had wee little ones to care for.  I have had the joy of watching kids grow up in the programs and that is awesome.  Now I have been able to pass the love for sharing God's love with my 3 kiddos... and they look forward to VBS every year.

This is year that I knew would come bones ache after each morning and by Thursday I am exhausted.

So enough of the I, I, I statements.  God's plan through Vacation Bible School has me in a small casting part, but it just isn't about me.  It's about God and the freedom that is offered to us all to walk with a living God.  I used to be able to run on my own energy, but the seasons in my life are yet again changing and now maturity is attempting to take hold of my heart so I can focus even more on what matters most in life.  Love.  Freedom.  Mercy.  Surrender.

What we experience about God in our early years comes from how we are cared for in our families and in our church.  Programs like VBS make a huge imprint on a person's spiritual experience.  Some might be afraid that VBS is an indoctrination process and sadly, that is sometimes the case...but more often the case is that a bunch of adults who love God gather together to share the narrative of how deep the love of Christ is with the next generation.  Every staff I've been a part of has been that sort of community. That is something that I am grateful for, humbled by, and filled with joy every single year.

So as I deal with aching bones, my heart is filled when I see a 5 year old recite a verse from memory; because I know a day will come when that same sweet girl will face trials and with grace I know God will remind her of this verse.  I pause for a nap every afternoon and cope, because I know that the boys who danced through the rockin' worship each morning will someday remember that God is fun and being free and wild at the same time is okay in God's book.  I will prop myself up with caffeine and sugar in equal measure because at least one life is transformed every year by the gospel that Jesus came for us all, so that we can live...truly live.  One year not too many years back my oldest was one of the ones changed through this program...I've seen it with my own eyes, and when it was within my own family blessing were overflowing.

So my post today is dear diary style because I needed to process a bit.  Life can be hard and we need to celebrate the places that aren't hard at all.  God is good.  God is faithful.  We are broken, but God has us covered...literally.  If you have little ones, find a fun program to plug them in.  If you are part of a faith community that does this sort of program, pray, to support financially, and especially give your time to this program.  It really does matter.  If you are a part of a faith community that doesn't have this sort of program...partner with another church or start something will not disappoint.

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