Every year since I started doing VBS, I've incorporated "Form the Orange." It all started when one of my youth assistants had this idea to liven up music time (props again to Melissa...also was it Jess or Emma that year?). The kids loved it. I mean.......LOVED it. They'll do anything if you promise we can form the orange after. And why not? It's rhythmic. It's high-energy. It has funny motions. It gives us all an excuse to go bananas.
When I moved to Decatur First, I brought orange formation with me. Not surprisingly, the kids loved it. Also the adults as it turns out. Robin (at that time choir president) liked it so much she led the Chancel Choir through it on Wednesday night. It's been a staple since. Four years running, and it's requested every year. Every day of every VBS of every year, actually.
So you can imagine my skepticism when Pepper (aka Michael...playing in VBS bands with me for 4 or 5 years now) suggested we amend the orange. Like Gaul, the orange is divided into three parts (1000 points for you if you catch that reference): the orange (form, peel, and squeeze), the potato (form, peel, and mash), and the banana (having united and split, you pick, peel, eat, and go...if you don't understand this, drop by my office and I'll show you). Pepper suggested we add a verse. Corn. Form the corn. Shuck the corn. Pop the corn. Apparently someone brought this last week to VBS at Embry Hills. Another verse? Inconceivable.
Nevertheless, we unveiled the new verse today, first to a small group and then to the whole group at closing assembly. There was much rejoicing. It was a hit. I guess it shouldn't be a surprise. It gives the kids an excuse to jump up and down.
It seems there are dangers in holding anything so sacred that you categorically refuse to change it. Even those things that seem so effective and perfect can almost always be tweaked or improved upon in some way. Real wisdom is recognizing and incorporating improvements...even if change seems a bit uncomfortable.