Unforeseen Distractions

168050AInterestingly enough, one of the problems that I ran into while walking my class through the Bible on Monday evening was the unforeseen distractions that occurred while they were reading aloud…and these distractions came from the text itself! What am I talking about? Here’s what I mean:

  • Exodus 20:10 – “No work may be done then either by you….or by the alien who lives with you.” Had to pause and explain that this was not referring to creatures from other planets living with the Jewish people.
  • Exodus 20:17 – “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife…nor his ox or ass.” D’oh…I forgot that was in there!
  • Numbers 10:33-34 (the departure from Sinai and the desert wandering) – Had to try to explain why it took forty years to navigate the distance that is the equivalent of traveling from Chicago to Detroit.
  • 2Kings 17:1-6 – fall of the Northern Kingdom to Assyria – this word appears 6 times in 6 verses and each time, the dear girl reading it could not stop giggling over it.
  • 1Samuel 8:2 – the name Beer-sheba was good for a few giggles.
  • 2Samuel 7:8-16 – “and if he does wrong, I will correct him with the rod of men...”  I’m sorry this is getting so bawdy but adolescent minds do not miss these things.

We catechists sometimes need to laugh to keep from crying! 🙂

About Joe Paprocki 2746 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at www.catechistsjourney.com.

10 Comments on Unforeseen Distractions

  1. I agree in some situations you just have laugh to keep from crying. If you teach more than a year you can think of at least one incident that makes you feel that way. The hard part is holding it together in the moment.
    I recently brought a group of 2nd grade Cub scouts to the local police station for a tour. What was the thing that facinated them the most the postings of all the sex offenders pictures in the lobby as we waited for our tour. I tried to shoo them away from the area but the minute the officer showing us around began his tour they all had to ask who those people were. “Were they the most wanted?” “No” he answered. “Well who were they?” the kids insisted on knowing. Even this big guy who looked like a former line backer fumbled around looking for the right words before he finally told them, “Ask your mothers” several of whom were chaperoning. The poor moms all looked like they wanted to melt into the wood work. I finally piped up with an answer that satisfied their curiosity without giving them too much info. and we moved on to explore other facinating things like the one toilet for a holding cell for 30-40 men.
    You gotta say working with kids is never boring!

  2. This comment came by way of email from PAUL

    Joe, thanks for the info. I’ll remember to proof read b4 I let them read. P.S. My talk on the Trinity went very well if I might say so, thanks to your help. The kids actually remembered the water, ice and water vapor image. They also remembered the egg story and why it is not a got description of the Trinity. They actually listened. I couldn’t believe it. I was so worried that it would be a big flop.But thanks to you they started asking me all kinds of questions. Some got off track but still about God. Questions about the immaculate conception (not reception) and the incarnation. It was so much fun I told them I would come back next Wednesday to talk about the incarnation, so got any ideas?
    Thanks PAUL RUPRIGHT. St. Anne. Hazel Crest Illionis. A little plug for St. Anne. We spell it right. HAHA.

  3. Sometimes with children this age, you need to ask the children if they are mature enough to read this stuff or should we go on to something easier. It doesn’t sound very loving but it does put the children back on track and they do not want to seem immature in front of their friends.

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