Sunday, June 3, 2012

Anything You Can Do, Glue Can Do Better

(From today's Times and News-Star)

The working title is called “Ode to Vacation Bible School” or “Why Are Mommy and Daddy So Excited About Dropping Me Off At Church This Week?

Will there be tape in heaven?
Will there be glue and paste?
Will there be ’Nilla wafers
And juice we can waste?

Will there be construction paper
And crayons by the score?
If we run low on Fig Newtons
Can we always ask for more?

Will we do daily Bible drills
And play games we love?
(It CAN’T be heaven if you aren’t
Allowed to bring your glove?!)

One day I’ll cash my cookies in
And cross life’s final moat.
If there’s no post-death VBS…
I’ll know I missed the boat.

It needs work but hey, God’s not finished with me yet, right?

I know, I know…It needs at least one other stanza, maybe two. And it will, soon as I figure out how to rhyme something with “I should have paid better attention in church” and keep it in the proper iambic pentameter. Good poem writing can be heck. And I probably need more in here about glue, which is so underrated.

Regardless, the “theme” of the poem (for lack of a better term) should jump out at you: Vacation Bible School is fun!

Free eats. Arts. Crafts. Play. More snacks. And no “real” school in the morning.

It’s a beautiful thing.

A veteran of crushed egg shells and spray paint and safety scissors, I thought I knew everything there was to know about Vacation Bible School. Wrong again. I thought VBS was For Children Only.

My friend and former co-worker Marilyn Rech informs me otherwise. Monday, Cypress Baptist Church in Benton will begin its annual weeklong Senior VBS for the 55-and-older bunch. Marilyn borrowed the idea for her church -- and I say “borrowed” because “stole” seems a bit harsh – which is why it will come to pass that Asbury’s JOY Club will begin it’s second annual Senior VBS July 31.

The lineup: a visiting preacher speaks of his favorite scripture, a community guest shares, crafts (yes! Amen!), music, a review of volunteer opportunities.

And of course eating. (“Menu” comes in second only to “Bible” in terms of most popular reading material in most Southern congregations.)

Marilyn, she of the seven children and 14 grands, could have Vacation Bible School at her house with just her family. But she is certain it’s better to be out and about and spreading the love, especially among the more mature population.

“The active adults should be a vital group to any church; sometimes they are forgotten and it’s all about the youth,” she explained to me. “Well, we are Just Older Youth – JOY – and need to be part of the FUN stuff.”

And so they are.

There are several opportunities for tacky jokes here. Will prunes be the snack? Will the craft be “How To Build Velcro Sneakers”? Will nap time be from 9:45 a.m. until 11, just in time to get up for lunch? Will Billy get mad at Tommy and hide his dentures? I could do this all day.

But I will not make any of those tacky jokes because Mrs. Marilyn would hit me with a hymn book and because I am soon to be eligible to attend Sr. VBS. If it’s as fun as Young VBS was, it will be one of the sweeter things about aging.