Last year, as he entered Kindergarten, I worried a good deal about enrolling Jensen into the Awana program at our church. I have been an Awana leader for the last 4 years in the Sparks program, shepherding both daughters through. But Jensen, is just, well, a different animal.
An animal who runs on a full tank of testosterone. I feared that he would set the Awana program on its ear. And since I was physically unable to volunteer at the beginning of Fall, I knew I was risking the loss of valuable friendships as people who are near and dear to me would have to do the Jensen wrangling for me on Wednesday nights.
But since Jensen’s beloved girlfriends, E & K, are in Sparks, along with all of his very best buddies, he insisted that he be included on the Sparks roster.
Well, I thought, it’s church after all. What can go wrong?
Forget I said that. If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you know that any situation that Jensen is involved in, can easily deteriorate into mayhem.
For the first part of the year, I received very good reports regarding Jensen’s behavior. Well. Save for a few incidents of public affection aimed at a set of identical twins that needed addressing now and again.
A few weeks ago, I was able to resume my volunteer duties at Awana. Jensen up to this point had shown little to no interest in memorizing scripture. Which is pretty much the crux of the Awana program.
Then last week I stepped up my encouragement of the memorizing. And much to my surprise, Jensen was soon able to quote the weekly verse. However, when he practiced at home, he recited his verses while rolling on the ground, jumping up and down, and general boy-type twitching. The only time that Jensen is still is when he sleeps. Or when he’s drawing a beloved television character. And even then, he spontaneously falls from his chair to the floor with no provocation whatsoever.
Last week at Awana, Jensen dutifully told his weekly scripture verse to one of his Awana leaders, all of whom are dear friends of mine. He very likely did it while standing on his head.
At Awana, we have something called Counsel Time, wherein our childrens pastor talks to the children about what they are learning in Awana, and he tells a lively Bible story to draw the children into the lesson. He is truly a gifted teacher.
Toward the end of Counsel Time, he asks a few of the children to recite their verse for the week. Most all of the children are learning different verses, so there is seldom a repeat. The catch is, though, that if a child wants to be called on, he or she has to sit quietly, with their finger on their nose, not making a sound.
All around the room, children were sitting uncharacteristically quietly, legs crossed, with their fingers pressed against their little noses. Jensen tried. He really did try. But you could tell that he was busting at the seams to be able to recite his verse.
Our childrens pastor is sensitive to little wiggly guys like Jensen, and thankfully, he called on my son to recite his verse.
Jensen leapt to his feet. Since he was in the back row, all eyes turned to him. He froze for a moment. Then he turned around and looked where I was sitting, “MOM!” he stage whispered.
I got him started, “First.”
Oh yeah. And he stood perfectly still has he belted out, “1ST CORINTHIANS 15:3…CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES.”
He was then able to go to the front of the room and reach into the jar for a prized sucker.
He couldn’t have been more proud of himself.
That little boy has come a long way. And I’m not saying that just because I’m his Awana leader. I’m saying that because I’m his bedraggled mama.
His career choice is still that of Plumber, but I am secretly thinking that perhaps something involving the pulpit may not be that far fetched…