Well, as I am sure you will notice, gentle reader (all three of you, judging from my stats), I am writing this on a Wednesday, which means a few days have passed since our lock-in ended on Sunday morning. The reason I waited to post this is that I have been either too tired or too busy to get to it. One thing is certain; I haven't been too depressed to do it. Not. At. All.
I had a great awesome time with the kids, let me tell you.
First, let me fill you in on how things went after post #3 from the lock-in. It was nearly two when I posted last, but don't believe for one minute that I was going to bed anytime soon. Uh uh! It was nearly 3 A.M. when the kids were all bedded down in their rooms (the three boys were in one classroom and the ten girls were in another). Once the boys were in their room, yours truly posted himself in the sole reclining chair that I dragged from the church's narthex. The girl's chaperon, J, was sleeping on the floor in front of the door of their room down the hall, and the Pastor (bless her) was sleeping on the floor in the corridor in-between (the couch that she had commandeered being a bit too short for her to sleep on).
The lads didn't seem to be in any great hurry to get to sleep, so I stayed awake just to make sure that they didn't make a break for it, as I am sure they had it in their minds to do.
I settled in to my chair, flipped on my laptop, and attempted to do a little web surfing... which was a total failure, because my chin kept bouncing off of my chest. I guess it is a good thing that the boys finally settled sometime after 4, which meant that I could go to sleep, too!
Ah... blessed slumber! To sleep, perchance to dream… The rest that marks the end of my day. The complete quietude that brings.... *CLICK* *THUMP* Both of my eyes flew open, and in the gray light that was starting to come through the windows, I spied people coming through the doors of the church! I took a moment to glance at my watch as I prepared to do the.... I don't know... the manly-man of the church kick-the-asses-of-the-Godless-intruders thing. As it turns out, that wouldn't prove to be necessary. It was the 6 A.M. Korean prayer group that meets, strangely enough, at 6 A.M. every Sunday. See, this could have been a real tragedy, as I apparently, in my guise as very large black man coming from the darkened hallway kind of scared the crap out of a couple of the worshipers. I wonder if they prayed a little more fervently that morning, if so, I am glad to have served as some sort of improvement to their prayer life.
Well, I was awake, and there was no going back to sleep. Aside from the praying folks, the church was quite still. Looking down he hallway from my post, I saw the still form of Pastor M, slumbering peacefully, so settled in and checked my email, and tried to decide what I should do next, as wake-up time for the kids wasn't until 0800. After checking my email, and going to Twitter, only to find that everyone else that I know that uses that service was STILL ASLEEP (the dogs!). I decided to work some of the kinks of my back and shoulders so that is what I did.
After stretching out properly, I attempted to do some blogging, but really, after a night of only ninety minutes of sleep, I wasn’t quite coherent enough to make any sense with a keyboard.
Eventually, all of the adults stirred, got cleaned up and prepared to herd the kids… most of whom looked pretty worn out.
The kids had doughnuts and juice for breakfast, and we all made ready to attend the 0830 church service together. Going to the early service was a little different. My family is a late service (1100) group… Sunday is the day to sleep in. Anyway, since I was already at the church, and Soccer Girl was going to be playing with the hand chime group at the early service, we were all there together. The chaperones sat with the youth group (mainly to make sure they stayed awake), and a fine time was had by all (or at least, by me).
After the service, and Sunday school, I was feeling good enough that we went to lunch and then did a little book shopping. I was even chipper enough to make lasagna that night. I guess a little suffering IS good for the soul, eh?
Anyway, I have to say that I chaperoned the lock-in initially out of the desire to serve the church and the youth. What I didn’t realize was that I was going to get as much out of it as they did… or maybe even more. Talking to those kids in group sessions was really great. They are smart, intuitive, and fully aware. One other thing I found out (or, re-found out) is that young people can be wise beyond their years. A few of those kids actually startled me with some of their insights on life and on their knowledge of the responsibilities of a life of faith.
In a few days, several of those kids are going to stand in front of the congregation and be confirmed by profession of faith and affirmation of their Baptism. I’ll try to keep my eyes dry.