This past Saturday I got everything set up in just enough time to run downstairs and grab a cup of coffee before the class I was teaching was supposed to start.
I walked down the hall, then around the curved hallway lined with classrooms where other speakers were setting up for the Envision Church Growth Conference in Parkersburg, West Virginia.
Then I opened the door to the stairwell.
When I did, I was no longer in a church in West Virginia. I was at the church building where I grew up.
And I was five years old.
In 1966 some five year olds went to kindergarten and some didn’t. At our church, they separated the kids who went to kindergarten from the ones who didn’t in our Sunday school classes, too.
I guess they figured that the kids who went to school were learning things that the others weren’t getting.
I was one of the kids who didn’t go to kindergarten, but I knew my ABCs and my colors and I could write my name. I could even read some.
And I didn’t like the Sunday school class they put me in one bit.
In fact, I disliked it so much that one Sunday morning I got up out of my seat and walked out of the room. I proceeded down the hallway past all the other classroom doors and when I got to the stairwell, I made a beeline down the stairs.
I slowed down at the landing and when I turned to go down the other flight of stairs, there was my mother climbing the stairs. Her dark auburn hair was a sharp compliment to the shades of green in the silky belted dress she was wearing with hose and high heels.
Some kids might’ve been scared at that point in the story. Afraid that they were going to get in trouble for leaving the classroom. Right in the middle of the lesson. Without asking the teacher.
I don’t remember what my mother said to me. I don’t remember precisely what I told her, except that I didn’t like going to that new class. My friends were in the other class and I wanted to be with them.
I just remember I wasn’t afraid. I knew it would be okay.
And it was.
She took me to that other class.