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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Week(s) (02/10/11)

By Donna Powers


I don’t get it.

Every year, our church does a weeklong VBS. Every year, the same kids come. They love the activities, the snacks, the songs and the stories. They enjoy the crafts and the games. But, to me: it kind of feels as though we’re “preaching to the choir.” The kids in our church have all been raised in Christian homes. They’ve all heard the VBS version of the ABCs (“accept, believe, confess”) until even the youngest can spout it.

So, why should I spend a week of my time to be one of the leaders?

I just don’t get it.

I’m busy enough; Lord knows. It’s not like I’ve got a week to spare. I’ve got three of my own kids and I work full-time. And, to top it off, right now I’m busy making a quilt for my sister’s wedding next month. So, I really don’t have a week to spare.

But, when the pastor asked us to “give a week to the Lord,” I stood right up and said “yes.”

I don’t get why.

But I went to the planning meeting and got picked to be the song leader (at least, I didn’t get snacks. That would have shot my new diet to shreds.) The songs were okay; pretty silly, but easy enough to learn. Last year, the VBS took a “trip to Japan” and we had to learn Japanese lyrics. This year, our “voyage” will stay in our bodies, so at least the lyrics were in English. I was ready, by the Sunday evening of the first session – and almost looking forward to the same bunch of kids.

This year’s theme was “the Body of Christ.” Each night, we’d talk about one of the human body’s systems and do verses related to that body system. The last session, we’d review all the systems together and discuss 1 Corinthians 12 to talk about how we each have a task in the body of Christ – just like each body system has a role in our overall body.

OK, I get that much.

When I saw all the same faces in the rows, I confess my heart sank just a little. I’d hoped for at least one fresh face: one person who hadn’t heard the Gospel to make my week worthwhile. But I’d agreed to do this, so I’d go ahead and give the Lord my week.

But I still didn’t get it.

I led the songs and helped them learn lyrics that reviewed doctrinal truths they could probably all spout in their sleep. I smiled when I saw them quickly learn the words and motions to the songs; at least their parents would enjoy the kids’ little show, on the last night of the program. I did my best.

Even if I didn’t get it.

And the parents did enjoy the show. They all smiled and looked proudly at their kids as they performed the songs. Once it was over, I sighed in relief and was glad the week was over – even if I felt as though it had all been for nothing.

Just as I was helping with the clean up, Becky Rollins came up to me. Becky’s a second grader who’s been coming to VBS since she was in the nursery “class”. She thanked me for teaching them the songs.

“No problem,” I answered. “That’s my job.”

She blinked and looked thoughtful. “Like – that’s your “Body part?” You know; your part of the Body?”

It was my turn to blink. I’d taught her that concept – but hadn’t even seen its profound simplicity that way, myself. “Well, yeah. This week, teaching the songs was my ‘Body part’.”

“Cool!” responded Becky – and bounced away, to join her parents.

My “Body” part. Just like each part of the human body, I don’t get to choose what job I do; the Designer made that choice. And, just like each body part, I don’t get to predict whether my functions on any given day will have good, bad or neutral effect on the Body. I just have to do it; to trust the Designer to let it all come together as one cohesive result.

I’d hoped the VBS week would help me reach someone for the Lord. I’d hoped my week worth of effort would help someone to realize a brand new truth.

I never thought that someone would be me.

Because, now: I get it.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Margaret Kearley 02/21/11
Very thought-provoking. Well written and a great lesson.
Joanne Sher 02/22/11
Oh - I like this. Great use of the repetition, and the cadence of the story was fabulous. Nicely done.
Sheri King02/23/11
Your article kept me interested; I kept wanting to find what lesson you were going to learn from that experience. It was a good one.
As someone who grew up in church myself, one thing I've observed is that the emphasis is places on "evangelism", while discipleship is just the afterthought. New life is worth celebrating but if we don't feed, nurture and train a baby/child, they never thrive. So it is in our spiritual lives. You have a great opportunity to truly disciple these youngsters and not just get them "saved" so you can go on to the next person. Thanks for sharing this important lesson!