Last week I wrote about my annual retreat and how good it is to get away for a week of spiritual talks and fellowship with brother priests. This coming week is, you might say, a child’s version. They are out of school, and we do not want them to have to take tests or do homework. But we want them to have a chance to learn more about God and about our faith. So this week is our annual Vacation Bible School. The children come in the morning all week and have games and crafts, all relating to various Bible stories. VBS puts those stories in the context of a different adventure each year. This year’s VBS theme is “Splash Canyon.” Picture yourself white-water rafting, and then consider a number of water-themed Bible stories. The children will hear of Moses as an infant, floating down the Nile. They will hear of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, and other such stories.
Steve Swank, our Catechetical Administrator, pulls the whole thing together for us each year. We are very grateful for all who help with the program, including Dan Gallagher as the lead musician and Diane Obed as the decorator. Diane has so many stuffed animals that make an appearance each year that many people wonder at what her storage is like. She does a wonderful job of transforming the various areas in our school into the scene of the program. Of course there are many other volunteers, both adults and adolescents, who help as teachers, craft makers, snack servers, game leaders, and many other roles. We are very blessed to have so many great helpers to make the annual VBS such a success.
Our hope in putting together this program is to help the children continue to grow in their faith and to learn more about what God has done for us. We also hope that the whole experience will be fun for them. We hope to kindle in them a curiosity and a desire to continue learning their faith. That is a good lesson for all of us. We should always want to see God present in all of creation and in all that He has done for us. We should see God present in whatever we do, whether it is white-water rafting (which I have no desire to try) or any other adventure that may present itself to us.
For me, the kinds of themes we use for Vacation Bible School can be a reminder to look for God in everything we do. If we can get into the habit of seeing God in everything, then we eventually discover that the whole world is His gift to us. We gain an enthusiasm for every adventure that comes our way. If we cultivate that attitude, we will never know what it means to be bored. God’s world is too exciting to admit of boredom.