Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednago
July 29, 2007

I'm the new Assistant Nursery Leader at church. That means I take care of fifteen toddlers for about two hours, and somewhere during that time span I attempt give them some sort of lesson about Jesus related things. I like it.

Please know that I am not the Assistant Nursery Leader because I'm good with children, I'm the Assistant Nursery Leader because my Bishop asked me to be. That's the funny thing about being Mormon--you get no say in what 'job' you'd like to do at church. No, no...that would be too easy. That would make too much sense. Instead, you get called to the Bishop's office, the door gets closed behind you, and you are helplessly dealt your fate.

Much of the time, the new assignment makes no sense whatsoever. A bus driver might be asked to be the ward accounting clerk, while the the tone-deaf accountant might be asked to lead the music. An elementary school teacher could be asked to hand out programs, while some high school punk is busy teaching the five and six year olds. And the woman who regularly wakes up in cold, terrified sweats because she dreamt she's having a second child (me) gets asked to work with the toddlers. It's one big beautiful mess--and somehow, the Church rolls on.

I was recently released (read: fired) from my position as the church secretary. Well, no freaking kidding. I am the most unorganized, crumfuddled mess of a person that I have ever met. So of course I was a fantastically horrible secretary. I lost records, I missed meetings, I messed up copies, etc, etc, etc. So now, instead of being a secretary, I'm the Assistant Nursery Leader.

This morning, the Sunday School manual had me scheduled to teach a lesson about obedience. In a moment of inspiration, I had the bright idea to tell the kids all about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. For those of you who aren't on top of your Old Testament stories, S, M & A were hurled into an extra hot furnace by an evil king because they boldly refused to worship a statue. And of course, God rewarded the three amigos for their obedience by sending an angel their way and sparing them from a fiery death.

I explained this to the kids and showed them a picture very similar to the one in the corner up there. It never occurred to me that fiery deaths might be a little too much for toddlers to handle. One little girl sat in shocked silence with her mouth hanging open, lip quivering, and tears pouring out of her eyes. Another little girl tried to run right out of the classroom. James was busy making fire truck sounds. And the Bishop's son? The Bishop's son loved it*. He crawled right up to the picture, studied it so closely that his nostrils were leaving condensation on the lamination, and was saying things like, "Awww riiiight." and "Ohhhh yeaaaahhhhh." and "Burn 'em up fire, burn 'em up."

So place your bets, my friends. How long until I get canned from this job?
*This is the same child who previously informed me that 'We Are The Champions' by Queen is his very, very favorite church song. Obviously he's my favorite.


Amy said...

Gotta love the way kids respond to the good word of God. My recent favorite:

"What do we have to do to live with Jesus?"

Jen said...

I'd have to agree that S, M, & A's story is a little advance for the youngsters in the Nursery. But then again, you do need to differentiate instruction and provide learning opportunities for the advanced students, too. :)

My word verification, if attempted to be spoken, would sound very much like "hiccup" -- "hikxtup". :)