Thursday, July 15, 2010

saying goodbye to another year of vbs

It is late and I am tired.  Ronnie and the kids are asleep, but I am not quite ready to end the day (even though the clock ended it an hour ago).

VBS week is always unique.   Themes change, the music changes, the kids change and grow, but the week somehow stays the same.  It may only come once a year, but in some strange way, that I don't quite know how to put into words, VBS is always the same.

Whether we do it for four days (like this year) or five (like every other year), I am always tired at the end, but never quite ready to say goodbye.  Even this year, when I have already admitted what a struggle this week has been, I am still sad to see it go.

I have always thought that with the amount of work that goes into the preparation for VBS, it is a shame that it doesn't last longer.  Many people work long hours to create the illusion of travelling to some far off place, only to stuff their hard work into a garbage can at the end of the week.  ~sigh~  Alas, this just the way it is.  Fortunately, especially for our small church, some people save that hard work and pass it on to other churches.  But the decorations that have made their way to our little VBS are on the last leg of their journey.

I know, this part is a little silly, but it also isn't the real reason I am sad to see VBS come to an end.

It is the kids.

Not my kids.  They love VBS as much as anybody, but I am not sad for them.

You see, my kids will be back in church on Sunday and next Wednesday, with teachers who love them and want nothing more than to share God's truths with them every chance they get.  Many of the children who come to our little VBS each year are just like my kids.  They come and they have fun, but for them, Bible School is simply an extension of church life.

Please don't misunderstand me, I am not negating the importance of VBS for all the kids, but when it is all said and done, the faces I see are the ones that I know probably won't set foot in a church again until VBS rolls around next year.

For those kids, and we had a few, even in our group of less than 25 kids, I want just one more day, one more week even, if it would mean one more opportunity to share God's love with them.  I am not so naive as to think that one week of VBS can undo all the weeks of not being fed the word of God on a regular basis, but I do know that every time a seed is planted is one more opportunity for fruit to grow in the lives of these children.  I just don't want to waste any opportunity to plant one of those seeds.

I am so thankful that God allowed me an opportunity to be involved in one more VBS.  I am also thankful that He has once again proved faithful, even in the spiritual funk I have been in this week, and blessed me through this experience.  Most of all, I am thankful for the promises of God's Word concerning the sharing of the gospel, so I will leave you with a couple of them.

I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 1 Corinthians 3:6

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

It is comforting to know that, while God expects us to be faithful in what He asks us to do, He is still in control and He works best through our weaknesses.

So, as we say goodbye to another year of VBS, I can rest in the knowledge that the Word of God has been shared this week.  Seeds have been planted or watered and in His power and His timing, He will give the increase.


Rie said...

Beautifully and honestly written, Jennifer.

VBS is my baby, too, and I completely understand. It is so hard every year to let go of the worry over those little souls and just let God move forward. It's a really good thing there is prayer, huh?

KTElltt said...

So poignant and true... I love that you cited the 1 Corinthians passage because without the Holy Spirit, all of these endeavors wouldn't matter. I am learning to love VBS. It has never been my "baby". But this year I got unexpectedly thrown into a teaching role whereas I have always been behind the scenes. That changed so much for me -- seeing the unchurched kids ministered to was huge. That, I think, is what makes VBS worthwhile because as you said, our kids will be back in church hearing the Word and they hear it at home too. So, sometimes, VBS seems like just another "activity" to me for my kids. It's when I think of the others, the ones for whom this is not the norm, that the passion for the endeavor kicks in. You did well!!!!