The sun is shining but fall is definitely in the air. A crisp, cool day. Yet, I'm warmed and hopeful by a memory from this summer's Vacation Bible School. We embarked on "Sky - Where everything is Possible with God!"
I think about VBS and I think about Miley. We had a touching dialogue on the eve of her birthday.
Pastor Kim: Miley, I hear tomorrow is a special day. Is there something special going on tomorrow?
Miley shakes her head yes. Faint smile is beginning to form.
Pastor Kim: So what's going on tomorrow, Miley?
Miley still smiles.
Pastor Kim: Are we going to sing a special song for somebody.
Miley shakes her head yes.
Pastor Kim: For who?
Miley says, "God."
I smile now and say, "That's right, we will sing songs about God!"
Pastor Kim: Anything else for tomorrow?
I think about Miley's answer of tennis shoes and recall that we are supposed to wear tennis shoes so we can play during games outside for VBS.
Pastor Kim: But, is it somebody's birthday tomorrow?
Miley smiles and says, "Yes. My birthday."
I am in awe that a day-away-from-5-year-old-girl thinks of God and tennis shoes first before her birthday. I'm impressed she's not running around telling everyone her birthday is tomorrow. (Okay, that's me hyping up my birthday weeks before just in case anyone would forget). But when asked about the next day, her birthday, the first song that we're going to sing, she tells me, is for God. Perhaps Miley gets it better than any of us. It's always about God. Always. God is first. God is the reason we celebrate birthdays and love and relationships and gather for Vacation Bible School.
And tennis shoes? Well, children know better than any of us what it is to play. To run hard. To laugh hard and loud and long. To reach our arms out and embrace the day. We need tennis shoes to play. We need reminders that playing is another way of praying.
So Happy Birthday, Miley. Thanks be to God for birthdays, tennis shoes, and songs.