Friday, June 19, 2009

Tinkering with Attitudes

If you can imagine... I have been teaching Vacation Bible School classes. Me.

If you're horrified and ya know it clap your hands.

Ok good... done now? You in the back... Sarah... you can stop clapping now. And bring me a beer.

Anway so I'm Recreation Leader. Thus... I am responsible for games and such. We've played human scale foosball... dodgeball with socks instead of balls... and I keep promising them we're going to field strip AR-15s but I am a few short so that will have to wait till next year.

Well... it so happens that I have a 4th and 5th grade class that only has 10 kids in it... and one of them hasn't seen his daddy in years. His ol' man is off in Iraq ya see. I do believe we all know the critical nature of these years when it comes to boys.

The effect is predictable. The kid acts out all the time. Not malevolently, but he just always acts like he thinks he's Spongebob Squarepants or something. He's extremely insecure... he has to win every game or he literally runs off and cries and will try to hide from everyone. If you said to yourself... "He's way to old for that." Congratulations. You get a cookie.

Clearly I have some work to do.

I started today. After class today with them.. I sat them all down and I gave them the fairness speech. Now I don't know if you've ever gotten the fairness speech or not... but think of the modern concept of fairness... now wad it up and throw it away. That's pretty much the speech.

It goes something like this...

"Ok guys... listen... The other kids are probly to young for this... but you're old enough now that you need someone to tell you. Ya know what the Bible is? Ya know what we use it for? It tells us about ourselves, about God, and about how to live our lives. Now... I want you to think about something... "fairness" isn't really in there. In the Bible, the words, "fair" or "fairness" are only used to describe God or God's judgment or business dealings. Life is not fair. Life's outcomes aren't fair. Human justice is not fair. Only God's justice is fair. You're not always going to win. Sometimes people are going to be better than you are... and sometimes people who aren't better than you are... will cheat... and they will win. Cheaters do win sometimes. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it.

So what are you gonna do? You can get upset and be unhappy because its not 'fair'... but what have you gotten out of it? Nothing. You're just mad and you've wasted a bunch of time being upset about something you can't change.

Accept that life isn't fair. Instead of worrying about how much of something someone else got... appreciate what you have."

When I was finished I had some very skeptical kids on my hands... so I asked them if they believed me. One of the boys actually looked up and said he wasn't sure yet. Can't blame him. There was a 16-year-old girl that had been helping me that thought I was full of crap to.

Thankfully there was an old lady that had been listening in... and she had my back big time.

And tomorrow... tomorrow its time for the Ecclesiastes talk.

Vacation Bible School... they are so busy teaching kids that God loves them... they ignore the practical matters. Yes... yes God's love is a practical matter. But for crying out loud when that is all you say to them... eventually they tune you out dammit! One doesn't think much about the words coming out of a parrots mouth... its simply impressive that it can speak at all.

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