“What d’ya mean you can’t come with me to the lake today? Everybody’s gonna be there! It’s the last week of summer break!”
“I already told you, I’m gonna help with VBS at my church this week. My mom is the director and she needs all the help she can get.”
“But all week?! Can’t you make up an excuse or something? You’re supposed to be my girlfriend, what’ll it look like if I show up by myself?”
“My mom really needs my help. Hey, you could help out too. Maybe they need help with the games. I bet you’d like it.”
“Forget it, Becca. I’m not gonna spend my last week of freedom in some old church with a bunch of screaming kids! See ya later.”
I watched Jason drive away, stereo blaring. I turned to go inside. Mom had asked me to watch the littlest children – the ones whose mothers were helping out in other areas. It would be fun. I loved little kids.
Little did I realize the havoc that hovers overhead wherever two or three toddlers are gathered together. By midweek I had already dealt with more crises than I could remember.
A two-year-old walked up to me, blood streaming down her forehead. “Oh my goodness Bethany! What happened?”
“Emily frowed a car on my head.” Came the tiny voice in matter-of-fact reply.
“Come here, let’s get you cleaned up.” We headed toward the sink.
“Dylan, please put down those markers, we don’t put them in our mouths.”
CRASH! “Oh Jordan! Let me help you. You’re all right. You should sit on the chair instead of stand on it.”
“Come on Bethany, let’s go wash up.”
“Dylan! Markers don’t belong in your mouth!”
My head was spinning. I didn’t have enough hands, enough eyes!
“Looks like you could use a hand.” The warm, calm voice belonged to David, a boy that I’d grown up with at our church.
“Oh thanks.” I said gratefully. “Can you help Jordan off that chair before he falls again?”
David helped Jordan down and began picking up blocks. “Hey Becca, why aren’t you at the lake with everybody else? I’m kinda surprised to see you here.”
“Well, my Mom practically begged me to help. What about you? Nothing better to do?”
“Actually I passed up a fishing trip with my uncle. I dunno. It probably sounds geeky, but I always look forward to VBS. There’s such a contagious feeling of love and caring around the place. And the kids all seem so happy.” David had always seemed shy. That was more than I’d ever heard him speak. I realized I didn’t really know David very well.
We turned to see Dylan crying and rubbing his nose. “What’s the matter buddy?” David got down on his knees and scooped Dylan into his arms. “Oh my!” he gasped. “It looks like he’s put something up his nose!”
Sure enough, as Dylan continued to cry, the orange and purple mucus running out of his nose told me he had bitten off the tips of those markers and managed to stick them in his nose!
“I’ll go get his mom. Will you be OK here for a minute?” I asked David.
David nodded as he spoke softly to Dylan, who seemed much calmer already.
Senior year was in full swing. Jason and I had continued our stormy relationship for several months. He wasn’t happy with me though, he complained that I had changed. I think what he meant was that I didn’t want to do the same things anymore. I began to see Jason as self-centered and arrogant. I could no longer agree with his priorities.
Everyone assumed we’d go to Prom together. My friends even speculated that we’d be crowned King and Queen. They were thrilled with the prospect – in their eyes my life was perfect.
So it caught everyone by surprise when Jason and I broke up. Right before Prom too. They couldn’t understand me – I had everything, and I threw it all away.
They really didn’t understand. The only things I’d thrown away were things that distracted me from what is really important. It took me a while to see it, but I had witnessed what it’s like when Jesus has priority in your life – I’d seen that in someone else, and I wanted what they had.
I picked up the phone and dialed. “Hello David? It’s Becca. I was thinking of going out for a pizza. Wanna join me?”