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Friday, June 16, 2017

Ron Wilson can't drive you to heaven...

... and neither can I.

Ron Wilson - Bus Driver

It feels good to be back. I've let the Stream of Consciousness flow along untended for over a year while I worked on my website and other projects. I came to the realization this morning that there is still a great deal of value in this blog and, perhaps, for those (few) who stop in to read. So, with apologies for my long absence (as if anyone noticed), let's get this party started!

In the film, Sky High, Ron Wilson is one of the school's bus drivers. He's responsible for transporting the superhero (and sidekick) students to the floating campus, hidden (?) in the sky. He seems like an ordinary guy, but when danger threatens to overwhelm the school, he lays down the Sky High law...

"There's only one person authorized to transport superheroes: Ron Wilson--bus driver. And I'm Ron Wilson, bus driver!"

And while Ron Wilson can drive superheroes and sidekicks to Sky High, he can't drive you, me or anyone else to Heaven.

Last night, our church finished up a great week of vacation Bible school with a family night celebration. Parents, friends, relatives, and caretakers came and heard all about the fun we'd had, and were also treated to several musical performances by the boys and girls.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm not big on the music aspect of church/worship. There are exceptions, but I can't sing or play an instrument, and I tend to enjoy learning about the Bible more. One of those exceptions is during VBS. I work with a team who lead what Lifeway calls VBX: Extreme Vacation Bible School. VBX is designed for preteens - those kids who are sort of in between. By that I mean 4-6 graders who don't fancy themselves children, but they're not quite youth yet, either.

Anyway, there was one song this year that stuck in my head. Who You Are delivers (as most VBS songs do) a simple yet powerful message regarding God's love for all of us. 

The chorus of Who You Are leads us to praise God for one of the most important gifts we have as believers:

I am made by you
And I know who I am
Because of who you are

Words/music by Paul Marino and Jeremy Johnson
(c) 2016 Van Ness Press, Inc. (ASCAP)

This song highlights a key truth that we often miss: God wants a personal relationship with each one of us - individually.

I can't have a relationship with God because of my parents, my spouse or my friends. God won't receive me into His family on the glowing reference of someone else. There's only one reference check God makes and that's to find out if we have made a personal decision to believe in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (His Son), or not.

As I sat in the auditorium last night and watched our preteens and the other children sing, I noticed one or two who sang the chorus of Who You Are with huge grins on their faces. I was very happy for one young lady in particular. She has a difficult home life and confided in us during the week that she struggles to see God in her day-to-day life. Sound familiar?

But as I watched her sing, her face took on a glow and I have to believe that a connection was made between the lyrics, her, and God at that moment. 

She realized what so many of us struggle to grasp. With respect to our identity, it doesn't matter what we do, who we know, where we go, or anything else. I know who I am because of who God is. 

This week, Galactic Starveyors took us from the beginning of creation, past the cross and to the very foot of God's throne. 

Some who read this might think we are trying to brainwash kids with religious dogma, but that's a false assumption. We are merely guides. We teach the Bible, we play games and sing, and provide a safe, fun environment in which children can learn, ask questions and make up their own minds about who God is, and who they are.

Last night, I'm pretty sure at least one young lady made up her mind.

What do you think?