I am a living, breathing, walking, talking object
lesson.  Monday night, I was pretty
bummed out about what I viewed as a disappointing turnout for our summer
VBS.  Every year, I let other people get
me in a tizzy about numbers on a sheet of paper.  “Well, you know the Baptists had over 100
children,” etc., etc., etc.

But then I went back on Tuesday night and again on Wednesday
night, and every time, something good has happened.  Last night, as I scanned the fellowship hall
during our meal, I saw kids laughing and hugging (and some were wrestling—that
was my kid), and there was just a general buzz of excitement, and well…
happiness.  I even made the comment,
“They’re getting comfortable with one another and making friends.  You can tell because the volume level is
increasing every night.”

And, of course, the shouting and singing and jumping up and
down and dancing with Mr. Mike in the sanctuary is always fun to watch.  Basically, VBS has turned into one big kid
party.  The only difference is that there
is some good stuff happening in terms of community service and learning.

Several of the teachers have commented on the quality of the
curriculum, which is great because fun (and relevant) lessons are a key
component of this whole thing, and I like for the teachers to feel excited
about the material.  And the theme this
year has been good too because it brings what we’re teaching right back to
their own homes.

This year, we went with a “Main Street” theme, but since we
have our own little Main Street scene, we recreated our downtown hoping the
kids might recognize that the things we talk about in Bible School are not
foreign concepts that only relate to faraway places.   One of the projects the kids have adopted
this week is our local Habitat for Humanity. 

Harper Lee’s class even went so far as to make (during their
free time at home) friendship bracelets to sell to other kids and adults at
tonight’s session.  They are 50 cents a
piece and all proceeds will go to benefit Habitat.  I thought it was a great idea.  So far five girls and one boy have made, between
them all, over 75 bracelets.  The profits
will not be overwhelming, I know, but the entrepreneurial spirits combined with
the compassionate hearts has been a joy to watch.  They’ve even named their business “Friends for Friends, Inc.”  It is, in my opinion, a pretty good business model.

The kids have also been collecting items for Tri-C
(Tri-County Christian Crisis ministry) in order to help people who might be in
a tight spot right now and need some help with everyday items like soap and

Our lesson on Monday night was on gratitude and the
importance of being happy with what you have. 
One of the songs Mike taught the kids had the lyrics, “Adjust your
attitude with gratitude.”  Obviously,
this lesson went right over my head on Monday night, but with a few days to
mull it over, I think I get it.  Like I
said—an object lesson. 

It’s become a running joke with Deanne and me that God
basically has to hit me over the head with stuff on a fairly regular
basis.  Watching the joy and enthusiasm
of these kids has made me adjust my attitude and recognize the bounty that is all
around me.  Numbers on a page are not
really the point, are they?  I’m slow,
but I’m getting there.  And I’m grateful.