Break Dancing in Sunday School

When I was little girl, going to Sunday school made me sick to my stomach. My mom forced highly encouraged me and my brothers to go to church each week. I didn’t so much mind big church where I could latch myself onto my mom and hide in her shadow. No, it was Sunday school, the torturous “hang out with your peers” hour. That’s when my innards would begin break dancing like a b-girl inside of me.

One morning, the Sunday school teacher thought it would be fun to go around the table and quiz us on our Bible knowledge.

I was thinking, Oh my, Lord, she’s gonna make me open my mouth and talk!

The b-girl began a few warm up spins on my abdomen floor.

The teacher began the interrogation.

“Billy, who was King Jehu’s father?”

Okay, so this, more than likely, wasn’t the first question the teacher asked but the b-girl inside me wasn’t focused on the question. B-girl was focused on the fact that she felt as if she had just been forced to play a round of Jeopardy….I’ll take Bible for Dummies, for 50, Alex.

“Um,” Billy thought. “Um….I forgot his name.”

Wait a second.

B-girl stopped her spinning.

That’s brilliant!

B-girl started moon walking across the four stomach dance quadrants.

That’s the answer I will give too!

“Samantha,” the teacher called. “Who was swallowed by a big whale.”

“Jonah,”  the over-achiever next to me cried out.

The time had come…the moment of truth…or at least the moment to open my mouth and speak.

I forgot his name. I forgot his name. I forgot his name.
As soon as I say my brilliant answer, the pain will be over. 

“Eileen, who washed the disciples’ feet?”

“Um,” I said, making it sound as if I was really thinking. “Um…I forgot his name.”

My insides breathed a quick sigh of relief.  It’s over.

All eyes looked in my direction and laughter erupted.

Wait, what just happened?  That’s not right.  What did I say?

“You can’t remember His name!?   You can’t remember the name…Jesus!?”

B-girl began spinning again uncontrollably.

Me and b-girl learned a big lesson that day

Before you claim defeat…try.

I hadn’t listened to the question.  I just assumed I wouldn’t know the answer.  I let my fear dictate my response.  I opted for the easy route, which turned out to be the most painful route.

I still do this sometimes.  I listen to that voice of defeat tell me that all I can handle are the easy Jeopardy questions.

I don’t want to sell myself short like this anymore.  Do you?

“I’ll take… I Am A Writer, for 1000, Alex.”




17 thoughts on “Break Dancing in Sunday School

  1. Anne

    Amazing! Aside from the fact that break dancing hadn’t been invented until I was well out of high school, you just described me to a T.

  2. Lisa

    I can really relate to this too, Eileen. I was just having a conversation with a friend about this very thing last night. I sell myself short all the time. I work very hard all the time so people will like me and it’s exhausting. Before anyone else can truly accept me I must first accept myself, and more than that, I must believe that God accepts me.
    Thanks for the encouragement Eileen…. many blessings!

    1. Eileen Post author

      So true Lisa. Your words reminded me of the study I did with my ladies Bible study last Spring called A Confident Heart by Renee Swope I recommend it!

  3. Phil D. Malmstrom

    Ah yes, the Sunday School “On the spot” quiz show… I remember it well. 🙂

    But your point is well stated, and I find myself guilty of this too. If we spent more time trying and less time looking for reasons we can’t accomplish something, I think we’d find God’s hand in more parts of our lives…

    Thank you for sharing this!

    Have a Blessed Day!

  4. Jennimar144

    I have definitely done this many times. But I remember at least twice that God just showed up: First was in 3rd grade while waiting in line for…something, and the principal showed up and started quizzing on multiplication. I kept praying it would be something I know, but when she said pointed to me saying “7×9”, I didn’t know. So I just blurted out “63”! When she said “Good” I was like “Woohoo!” on the inside. The other time, it was more effortless as I knew the answer but just didn’t know I knew it: The preacher says “He is able to go exceedingly, abundantly beyond what we can ask or think’ is what it says in…Jenn?” Without even thinking I said “Ephesians”. I knew it b/c it was the day before that I’d not just read it, but stopped and chewed for a bit. These two incidents stood out to me b/c many times before, I’d acquiesced defeat. Guess what I’m saying in the context of your story, is we really can trust Him.

    1. Eileen Post author

      Great examples. We can trust Him. And, who are we trying to impress anyways? I’m learning it’s really OKAY to say I don’t know the answer.

  5. donnao

    Relating to this comes easy to me! Defeat is sneaky at times. Sometimes it disguises itself in a negative attitude that gets out of control. I never was a “you can do it” can of person until I had my children. Now as 2 have reached adult hood and 2 enter high school, I find I need to keep a careful eye on my defeatist attitude or they will catch it. Already, I see it in them sometimes. YIKES! Not a happy mama moment! Thanks for sharing and for stopping by my place. Enjoy the day!

    1. Eileen Post author

      Oh, this is a great point! I have found myself adjusting my outlook too because of my son. I, too, want him to grow living boldly and not in some fearful prison. Kids are so perceptive and pick up so much.

  6. Tracy

    Eileen- I am so glad I subscribe to your blog, because somehow I missed this “gem” yesterday! Thank you for encouraging me this morning…you mentioned this already in the comments, but now that I am a mother my kids are watching. They are never going to go for “it” if they see me shrinking back…thanks again and have a blessed weekend!:)

    1. Eileen Post author

      So true, Tracy! My son has definitely helped me to step more out of my comfort zone. I want to be a good, positive example.


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