Journey Off The Map – VBS Fun

This past week I got the privilege of serving at a local church (which is becoming dear to my heart) for VBS. The theme for their program was “Journey Off The Map” and I got the challenge…and joy…of working with the 5th and 6th graders in my county. Let’s just say…I LOVE working with youth! They have such passion and yet they’re starting to get to the vital decision making time in their life. Anyway, I was a back-up assistant in the classroom. As we went through the week, I found myself focusing more on making sure the children were paying attention, not talking, not playing on technology, not pestering a friend, “stand-up”, “sing”, “listen”, and “shhhhh” were things I also spent a LOT of time saying. We’d be in Bible study (and let me note, Ms. Michelle did a GREAT job) and then we’d go to singing, on to missions, crafts and then snack. I was going through the motions and listening some, but more so making sure I did everything I could to make sure the kids got the message.Journey Off The Map Logo

Well…let’s just say…you can take a camel to water but you can’t make him drink! Kids are the same way. You can bring the message to them, but you can’t make them listen. 😦  As we were singing, I would be singing and doing the motions to the song but not really singing. The words were coming out of my mouth but I wasn’t connecting my heart. I was trying to encourage the kids to sing along…but it seemed the more I pushed, the less some of the participated. Finally…I just gave up. Not that I stopped making them participate, but I stopped thinking I was failing if they weren’t joining in.

My amazing group of kids and our fearless leaders

My amazing group of kids and our fearless leaders

I realized I needed to be the one taking the message of the songs to heart. About the time this “dawns” on me, it’s time to vote on the song our group wants to sing at the celebration night. I wanted to sing one of my favorites, but the kids didn’t vote for that one. They voted for the song called “Follow”.

To be honest, I was disappointed. I liked that song, but it wasn’t my favorite. Then God got a hold of my heart and “spoke” to me. (Also note…God didn’t verbally speak to me, but it’s the inner heart whispers that flood my mind and I know they came from Him) It was like He was saying “Sarah, is the song for you? Are you singing to make yourself happy? The goal is to worship Me, to honor Me…sing this song for Me.”

I had a QUICK heart adjustment and then I began to listen….and to sing. Truly sing and listen to the words I was saying.

We’re on a crazy road, we never really know, where it’s gonna lead

It’s unpredictable, it’s like a wind that blows, oh, on a stormy sea

Whatever happens now, we know you’ll be around

Every corner, every trail we are going down.

No matter where we tread, we know you’re up ahead

Every step and every mile, we’ve decided now…

(Chorus)

Where you will go, yeah, we will go

We’re gonna follow. (repeat)

We’ve gotta keep the faith, that anything we face, hey, it’s in your hands

Your word is guiding us, and we’re gonna trust, trust, in your perfect plan

Whatever happens now, we know you’ll be around

Every corner, every trail we are going down.

No matter where we tread, we know you’re up ahead

Every step and every mile, we’ve decided now…

(Chorus)

We have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no, no turning back, no (repeat)

The cross before us, the world behind us, no turning back no, no turning back, no (repeat)

(Chorus 2x)

And I knew….this song was JUST AS MUCH FOR ME as it was for the kids. I can’t say I’ll go so far as to say it was in the program just to speak to my heart…but with everything I’ve been learning lately, this song says it all!!

God wasn’t finished with touching my heart this last week with just the song, though! The night of the final celebration came and “my students” got up on stage to sing their song. I was praying they’d sing and do the motions…because several hadn’t throughout the week. Well, they didn’t disappoint…the kids that sang during the week would sing, and the kids that didn’t…didn’t. The song still went well, and the parents loved it. I was questioning myself on if the kids got anything during the week, did any of the message sink home to them, did any of the words from the song stick in their minds, did God touch any of their hearts? I didn’t have to wait long to find out…

Time came to show the pictures from the week. They had put the pictures to music from the week. One of the songs was “Follow” and to my absolute amazement, when we got the chorus of the song it was like a chorus of angels was sitting around me in the 5th and 6th graders. They started singing. And not just singing, but loud, from the heart with great abandon, singing! I admit…I almost cried. They got it. My kids then continued to sing every word to every song that followed. I didn’t have to tell them to sing. They just all sang. That’s when I knew…we may be on a crazy road (almost nothing beats the crazy of working with kids), we may be facing the unpredictable/unknown, but we’re going to trust in God, in HIS PERFECT PLAN. Which by the way, we may not know. Usually, we don’t know, if we’re being honest. But we can walk in that plan because we know God is guiding us and is ahead of us, preparing the way and in that knowledge…WE ARE GOING TO FOLLOW!

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