It started innocently enough but then, most things do. A little background is in order. Due to my schedule, I eat an early lunch at school, the same time as our kindergarten kids. Their teachers, Mrs. Semanek and Mrs. Fitle, are aided in the cafeteria by three of our WCS seniors, Sarah, Wade, and Kirk. The little ones are an entertaining lot but I don't think I could endure a whole day- give me teenagers every time! About a month ago,
Mrs. Semanek asked if I could do her a favor. Some of the boys were misbehaving in the bathroom and she asked if I would mind talking to them about restroom etiquette. Now, I've preached weddings and eulogized at funerals. I have delivered commencement addresses and given fund raising speeches. Last week, I spoke at the 100 Year Anniversary of Georgia Christian School, a great honor. But none of those adequately prepared me to talk to this bunch of five year olds about being mannerly in the boys' room. I can't give a word for word account of my waxing eloquent but I did an employ a basketball camp technique. Every time I said the word BATHROOM, they all had to clap. I don't know if they heard anything else but they got that part. I must have implied it was a secret from the girls because beginning the next day, the boys would come up to me and whisper "Bathroom!" and then clap. Immediately, the girls demanded to know the secret but I told them, well, it's a secret! That didn't stop them. One of them came up to one of the young men and said, "I know what the secret is- toothbrush!" He replied, "No, it's not- it's bathroom!" The little boy learned a hard lesson- the girls will always outsmart you!
Anyway, in the intervening weeks. I've gone through the same scenario daily. The boys want to know what the new secret word is and the girls claim they have a secret of their own and they won't tell me or the boys! My favorite moment came last week when Charlotte, one of my basketball campers last summer, switched sides and told me she is now on the boys' team! I think she was doing some reconnaissance! But today, I found all of them outside eating their afternoon snacks with their wonderful teachers and I made a big announcement:
NO MORE SECRETS!
We'll see if they remember when we get back to school in several weeks. After all, some of them still believe I'm J.J. Watt. So much intrigue in such little bodies!
I wish I could say with confidence that these adorable children will totally give up the secret keeping as they mature but if they're like the rest of us, a remnant may stick with them. Secrets and whispers and gossip and betrayals mark our our society and every other society as well. There's just something about being in the know or having inside information that we can reveal at the just the right time to make ourselves seem connected or witty or powerful. But it's not a good thing. Jesus made it very plain two thousand years ago how to keep ourselves out of trouble with our tongues. In Matthew 5:37, He taught us to,
"Simply let your ‘Yes’ be 'Yes' and your 'No', ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."
It wasn't very complicated, was it? Amazingly simple but amazingly effective. Even a kindergartener can understand the concept but living it will be infinitely more difficult. Yes/No- I think we can all clap for that!
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