Thursday, July 03, 2008

"Someone stole June"

A friend wrote, "Someone stole June." June happened much too quickly for me too, and now it seems July is already hurrying by much too quickly. I want to yell: Slow down, Life!" Where are those lazy hazy days of summer?

The dining room table is covered with boxes for Vacation Bible School. I am gathering up all the stuff called for in the teacher's book. Stickers, colored feathers, stuffed monkey, etc. Sonja emailed me that she has some of the items I need. Charlene phoned that she has the stuffed cat I was looking for. But I still need a parachute (not a real one--the kind kids play with), a rubber chicken, six foam balls, some egg-splat balls, etc. etc. The writers probably have a staff or a wife to order and gather up all this junk. GRRRR. And they probably have a bigger budget than I do for foolishness. I hope they do some soul searching to decide if they are using their budget wisely, however, just as I do.

Since I was in Carbondale yesterday afternoon, I made a point to stop by the toy store there. I found a rubber chicken, but I wasn't sure I wanted to spend $10 for one. I bumped into Jon Musgrave as I left the store and entered the mall, and I asked him if he had a rubber chicken. I explained: "I don't want to buy one. I want to borrow one for the one day I need it for a five-minute gag." He said he didn't have one, but I had to wonder after I commented that no one I knew owned a rubber chicken and he quipped, "Not that they will admit to."

Making decisions on what to spend money for becomes a problem once you have a dollar or so extra beyond the absolute necessities. The starving people around the globe haunt me. The beautiful faces in magazines of the children with cleft palates who only need $250 for surgery torment me.

Yet I know Jesus approved the costly perfume Mary used to wash his feet. And small extravaganzas that I have given to individuals have blessed me sufficiently that I was sure I had done the right thing.

I have always believed we are wise to build good-looking public buildings and fine highways and beautiful bridges because so many people are helped by these. When we are going down the highway without another car in sight and Gerald points out the million dollar roadway just in front of us, I not only luxuriate in this great richness, but I also know that more people than I can count will also benefit from it just as we are. And when we read about a bridge disaster, veterans being mistreated, or children in bad buildings in inner city schools, we know we have been penny wise and pound foolish. (Or people making those decisions have been. But the decision makers have to have the public's support.)

I have come to realize that I can buy a good product for our home without qualms of conscience (if I can afford it) because I know if there is any use left in the item when we can no longer use it,I will pass it on. If not to someone I know, then to the household giveaway sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance in Marion. Clothing can be taken to Salvation Army and glasses to one of the Lions' collection boxes. I would never deliberately burn something that someone else needs.

I remember reading that wealthy big spenders in the Depression who gave lavish parties argued that they were giving jobs to people who needed them. That made perfect sense to me. Yet there still remains something distasteful when someone gives ostentatious affairs while other are suffering.

On the television today I heard someone explain an advantage to the high gas prices. With fewer people on the road, fewer deaths are occurring. If it were one of my family saved from death, I'd have to choose the higher price if I could prevent the death. Isn't life complicated?

I must go online and decide if I can get a rubber chicken that with postage costs might cost less than the local store. And I must decide whether a few minutes of fun is worth it to the children. All the while I will be remembering that some research shows that we learn better and retain information better if we are having fun. And that is the point of VBS. We want youngsters to learn Bible truths that they will incorporate into their lives. We hope their lives will be spiritually richer and more effective because of this study.

My sister reported that their VBS in Amarilo was one of the most satisfying experiences she had ever had. Picking up and teaching two great grandchildren was part of the reason, but hearing other children also respond with how much fun they were having and wishing VBS could last even longer made her feel she was well paid for her efforts.

1 comment:

Meg in Tally said...

Good luck on the rubber chicken! FYI from my VBS experience this year...because of time constraints, we were only able to accomplish about 1/2 the activities in the book. Since my kids had the attention span of gnats, I was able to pick and choose only those activities with (what I thought) had more eternal returns.

If you want to appreciate what we have here in the U.S. even more...check out my friend Kelley's blog. She and her husband work with Wycliffe Bible Translators in Brazil. She's had some really interesting posts lately!

Make sure you check out the last week or two when she talks about her trip acting as an interpreter!