We all have childhood memories vividly burned into our memory. One of my most vivid memories was at a Dunkin Donuts in Speedway, Indiana. And, because I’m the son of a good Baptist preacher, you already knew the donuts were for a church function.
Growing up, one of the biggest weeks of the year for our family was Vacation Bible School. Dad directed the week-long event, which, at its peak, drew well over 1,000 kids per day to our church. Mom was in charge of the 3rd grade and had a whole crew of teachers who worked tirelessly to prepare each year. Months of planning went into this grand event.
In the 1990s, bus ministries were still pretty popular, and our church’s was huge. Hundreds of kids would be bussed to our church every day for VBS. That means lots of people are needed to drive and keep the peace on the buses. Factor in the weather – it was frequently 90+ degrees with humidity well over 90% and you realize your team of bus workers is a group of special people. We even had several guys who would use a week of vacation to serve during VBS.
Dad knew our team was awesome and he worked hard to take care of them. We would go to the local grocery store and buy soda, tea, water, and any other Baptist-church-approved cold beverages we saw. My job was to make sure all these drinks were iced down and waiting for our bus workers as soon as they got back to the church from dropping off the kids after VBS.
But that was just how we cooled down after a sweaty day. Each morning we would have donuts, coffee and orange juice as well. Dad thought the best donuts in the area were at Dunkin Donuts, roughly 25 minutes from our house. I’d go with Dad to Dunkin the night before and pick up a few dozen donuts. The manager liked me (and the business Dad brought him), so he would usually give me my favorite donut for free.
In the morning, I’d get up with Dad around 6, be at the church by 6:30, and have everything ready by 7. It was really the highlight of my summer. I wasn’t preaching the Gospel that week, but I sure did have fun serving people who were.
What was the lesson I learned from Dad at VBS? Dunkin Donuts rocks. Their donuts were so good. But what was better than Dunkin Donuts? Serving Jesus. It was fun. Sure, you had to get up early and go do stuff at weird times of the day, but in reality, we didn’t have to do those things, we got to.
Thanks Dad for teaching me that Dunkin Donuts rocks, but not nearly as much as serving Jesus.