By Paddy Elkins
Valley Bugler Columnist
Vacation Bible School at Castle Rock Christian Church was so much fun! Sue Edwards and I had the four year olds: The first morning in chapel, Miss Kit, the VBS Director, said the Opening Prayer, and by the time the prayer was over and I opened my eyes, the four year olds had used every pencil and paper left in the pew ahead of us, and had every Bible and Hymn Book out and open and ready to “color”. Our trusty assistants, Miss Kyra, Miss Anna and Miss Chrissy, helped Miss Sue and I restore order to our row and retrieved all the Hymn Books and Bibles, and put them safely out of reach.
The second day, thinking we’d outsmart them, we asked Miss Chrissy to remove everything from the pew except the four year olds. But, by the time Miss Kit finished her Opening Prayer, the four year olds had removed all the rubber grommets from the wooden communion cup holders in the pew, and had them on their fingers like so many black olives or wedding rings! It took the rest of chapel to retrieve the grommets and to put the grommets back in place, and I vowed never to close my eyes during Opening Prayer again!
The rest of VBS week went OK. I kept my eyes open during chapel and Miss Sue bravely tackled stories about Jesus – The Parable of the Lost Sheep; The story of the Prodigal Son; the one about Paul and Silas praising God in jail at midnight during an earthquake! (I’d forgotten about that one!) The wonderful story about Lazarus! And other stories. After story time, we shepherded the four year olds to recreation time, snack time and craft time, where other teams of semi-traumatized adults took over inter-acting with the four year olds for a time, and then we returned the four year olds to chapel for singing, Closing Prayer and announcements, before returning them to their grateful parents or daycare providers.
I’m not certain that the four year olds learned anything at VBS, although we seriously DID try to love them with the love of the Lord, and to give their parents a well-needed break.
However, I learned something at VBS: I learned that four year olds can turn anything into something fun to play with and enjoy if you give them enough time to use their imaginations; I learned that staying in perpertual motion even while continually snacking is probably the secret to remaining slim and trim like a…well… like a four year old! And I learned that I simply do not have the constitution to handle much time inter-facing with human beings under five, but I certainly applaud those who DO!
So if you know any parents of pre-schoolers, for Heaven’s Sake, give them a big hug and put them on your Prayer List!