Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Culture of Chaos

I have created a culture of total and complete chaos in my Sunday School class.   Not that I ever really had control, but what little control I did have I have completely lost.  Chaos.  My inner adolescent loves it, but that sliver of responsible adult feels a little guilty that the lessons have gone from 30 minutes, to 20, to 10, to no lesson at all.  In fact I didn't even read the lesson today because I knew we'd never get to it.  Why waste time and good eye energy? (see my regular blog for explanation about my good/bad eye)

Long gone are the awe inspiring, spirit inviting, testimony building lessons.  They've been replaced with what can only be described as "the great and spacious building"* conversations.  You know, the type of conversations you hear on the street...between straight laced kids...talking how they decorated their friend's room with yellow caution tape and texted another friend pretending to be the girl he likes.  Teenage Mormon scandal. 

It got so bad and so out of control today that I felt sacrilegious having a prayer, so we just skipped it.  So today there was no lesson and no prayer.


In an effort to try and bring us back to the reason why we spend 3 hours every Sunday in an ill tempered building, I did add a new rule.  Every time someone told a story they had to tie in a gospel principle and turn it into a "personal parable".  Well, the boys ran wild with that idea, saying that they all had awesome "Pee-pees".  Gulp...another brilliant idea corroded by an adolescent male brain.

I was a little leery about their ability to link their random stories to gospel principles but here's a couple of examples of what they came up with:

1.  Nathan, who is Leafy the mascot at his high school (yes, he wears a big leaf costume), shared that the highlight of his week was when the cheer leading squad hoisted him up in the air during the football game.  I guess having the itty-bitty cheerleaders lift up a 6' 4" guy in the air was quite a crowd pleaser.  So much so that they invited him to cheer practice this coming week so they could work on additional stunts.  Then without a beat he said, "Line upon line, precept upon build and learn as you go".

Very nice.  I gave him extra props for working in a kitsch phrase

2.  Ryan 2.0 was next.  His story involved "hanging out" at someone's house with a girl (he refused to acknowledge that it was a date of any kind).  He said they made cookie dough and popcorn and then got into a pillow fight (whew...the directions I could have taken THAT statement).  He then said that in the end a couch was injured and a giant teddy bear named "Henry" was damaged...or maybe the couch was damaged and Henry was injured...I don't know, he lost me after the "pillow fight".

I sat there looking at him semi-confused when someone across the room said, "tie in David and Goliath" (they were catching on pretty quick to my little game).  But instead he said, "we work better in teams, that is why God makes missionaries go out in groups of two".

Ok, I'll accept it.  Although if he could have worked the cookie dough and teddy bear named Henry into the principle I would have given him more points.

Then, the greatest thing EVER happened.  We started talking about Brother F, the guy in the ward who will argue to his death that Mary rode into Bethlehem on a camel and NOT a donkey.  The kids were going back on forth on the issue and I said, "honestly, it doesn't matter if she rode in on a giant chicken."

To which Nathan said, "Wrong!  It matters if she rode in on a dragon, because that would prove they are real."

I was dumbfounded by the brilliance of that statement.  Then Ryan 2.0 followed up with, "that's what I want to see, Jesus riding a dragon and winking at me..."

Oh garsh...he went there...

At that point Gabby asked if we were going to have a closing prayer. 

WHAT ON EARTH WOULD WE PRAY FOR???  You can't go thanking God and Jesus (even if he is riding a dragon) for a non-lesson such as that.

I think we've hit the bottom of the spiritual week, we're getting back on track.  The last thing I need in my life are a bunch of parents complaining about the combo of creationism and Darwinism being taught in my class.

Although for the record, I would also love to see Jesus on the back of a dragon....who wouldn't.


KarKar said...

Carrie, if you were my sunday school teacher at this age, I would have went every Sunday!! My cousin and I at the age of 14ish would steal, either my parents car or her parents, and we would drive into the city, and buy donuts at the Albertsons. We could have been arrested on Jesus' hour!!!

In conclusion, there needs to be more teachers like you that are REAL, let the kiddos see how they relate to church and the teachings. For me it would be like a project... "what are kids today getting out of church" .. and from your fact and findings, its nothing. They are SO CONFUSED!!! But I'm proud of 'em for doing their THANG!!!



Armelle said...

The dragon request is perfectly legitimate, in fact we Catholics have a lot of dragon-slaying and dragon-riding or dragon-taming saints. In fact, Saint Armel is one of them. Overriding a dragon is an image of the Right overriding the Wrong.