06 February 2011

Audience of One

Today I found myself leading our Sunday School without my other two teachers.  One has a full-time job and has had to step down for a while (and does so with our blessing) and the other has an unusual rash and was advised by her doctor not to have contact with children this week (and does so with our blessing.)

This meant that it was down to me, and whichever helpers turned up.

Praise be given: regular helpers Celina and Chelsea turned up (bless their hearts,)  Mr de Elba volunteered to stay in and help me (bless his heart) and a very new friend Alison volunteered herself and her friend, so they came to help us too (bless their hearts.)  Some talented and wonderful Mums stayed in and helped, including Kylie (bless all their collective hearts) and so I had a small army of volunteers to cut, stick, and provide crowd control.

I also had a small army of volunteers to watch me stuff up (if I was going to,) commit one of my hideous unintentional spoonerisms (if I was going to,) and jiggle and wobble all through the actions to the songs (if I was going to.)

It's times like these that I am reminded that I am playing to an Audience of One.  I'm really only doing this for God, and it's only His approval I seek.  Much as I would love to wallow in embarrassment regarding potential and actual stuff-ups, spoonerisms and jiggling/wobbling, I don't let myself do it.  It will only drag me down and stop me volunteering for these sorts of things.

The morning went quite well.  I can only assume that God would have smiled fondly if I'd stuffed up (which I didn't,) chuckled behind his hand if I'd said that "Phod told Gilip to so gouth on the resert doad" (which I didn't,) or called his angels around to crack up at the sight of me jiggling and wobbling to the actions (which I can't be entirely sure didn't happen despite wearing two bras, if I'm honest.)

The credit can be placed at the door of my wonderful helpers listed above.  Without them, there is no way I could have presented the material to 56 small children.

But there were many instances of me struggling bravely to control 56 three-to-six year olds during the songs, story and craft.  I attempted to put glue on the backs of 10 children's paper objects so they could stick them into their paper suitcases - while trying to take 3 little girls to the toilets - while trying to sort out the scissors from the big plastic boxes of colouring pencils after realizing that some girls had butchered their crafts - while trying to engage a shy little wallflower - while trying to manage the tantrums being thrown by two of my own children who were clinging onto my legs and moaning.

A casual observer would have thought it was a shambles.  I felt like my weeks of preparation APPEARED to have counted for not-much, despite the mammoth efforts of my wonderful helpers (did I mention they were awesome?)

But, as I continue to remind myself, I am only doing this for my Audience of One.  It didn't matter if the watching parents thought it was a bit ill-conceived.  It didn't matter if it was a scramble of children, paper, glue, pencils and the odd pair of scissors.  My Audience of One saw the preparation and the outcome, and I think He would have been pleased.

After church, I was pottering about my kitchen, thinking that in the end, the morning had gone quite well.  Then Mr de Elba said, "Er - you have a rip in the back of your pants."

I looked.  There was a massive 4 inch tear in the seat of my (old) 3/4 jeans out of which my three year old tangerine and aqua striped undies were all too glaringly visible.  (I don't get new clothes all that often.)

My Audience of One?

I can only assume he was rolling about in the clouds paralytic with laughter.


Emily Sue said...

FIFTY SIX kids??? Fifty six SMALL kids?? Yikes!

I had my first day of Sunday Club today with the year 6 kids. They were loud, but there were only about 10 of them. That was plenty.

Oh, I'm sure the rip in the pants happened after you came home. Yep. That's what happened.

Crazy Sister said...

I'm glad this stuff doesn't only happen to me!

Holy Wow. 56 in a class.

You are Superwoman.

Jodie said...

I thought 48, 7 yearolds, on my own (with 2 so called supervising teachers, who really saw my 30 minuets with their children as a way to have a weekly catch up) was a challange, But I comend you for even thinking that the day would go with out a zip, I mean hitch!
Smile and the world smiles with you.

Givinya De Elba said...

Don't forget my helpers! They make my world turn around!

Tracy P. said...

Oh my, I haven't enjoyed a post (anywhere!) as much as this in a very long time! I love this! On so many levels. I know your Audience of One almost forgot about the other places He needed to be this morning. I think I still hear him giggling.

Hippomanic Jen said...

Thanks for immolating yourself on the altar of embarrassment to provide us all with a giggle. You see, until you posted there were only going to helpers and 56 small children who knew.

Thanks for sharing.

(And surely if Mr de Elba had seen the rip earlier he would have told you... SURELY?)

tinsenpup said...

Lol! Figures! I have no doubt that had that rip been there while you were in a room with 56 three to six year olds, you would have been informed of it very quickly indeed and in no uncertain terms.

Givinya De Elba said...

You know, that's a very good point! You're right. Perhaps I don't feel quite so humiliated now.

tinsenpup said...

I thought of you tonight. My partner came home from his very first day at an exciting new job. He said, "I think it went REALLY REALLY well.", at which point I drew attention to the fact that his fly was undone.

BGSydneyside said...

LOVE IT! Thanks for the important reminder about who we serve for as well as the laugh :)
And great job serving the kids!