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Posts Tagged ‘back to school’

Cease Striving

I generally face life’s changes with tears.

They may be tears of frustration or relief.  They may be tears of joy or grief.  But, trickle they will (or, in the quiet solitary moment when no one but God sees, they may burst forth as from the great deep in voluminous sobs and torrents). 

So it happened this morning, this first day of sending my baby (Sorry, Zach–you’ll forgive this once, won’t you, since I’ve mostly broken myself of the habit of calling you that in public?) off to public high school.  This is a day of firsts in many ways:  first day of high school; first day of public school-ever, for any of my kids or for these parents; first day of school when I’m not the teacher; first day of school in my twenty-four and a half years of motherhood when I haven’t had a child of mine in the house (I transitioned from classroom teacher to motherhood, so “first day of school” is a biggie in my heart and life, in case you can’t tell).

It was mainly the biology class (of course, if it hadn’t been that, I’m pretty sure it would have been something else.).  Through some administrative glitch (reminding all that we are not in heaven yet), Zach’s class schedule had to be totally reconstructed at registration.  One result of this was that he ended up in a biology class that will be, in part, populated by kids who are having to repeat the class, which, in my teacher mind, translates to “kids who really don’t want to be there” which translates into “trouble”.  I had let my heart be troubled over this to the point of fretting through my tear ducts this morning.  

So, knowing that this was a lack of trust on my part (I think it is Biblical to believe that “everything happens for a reason” but my heart had not yet caught up to my head), and not wanting to take the shine off the first day of school or to put the jitters into it, as I went about the kitchen getting breakfast ready, I began to talk to the Heavenly Parent about it–to the One who also had let a child go to a place where He might not be (and was not, it turned out) as well-loved as He was at home.

And my Father began to remind me of fifth grade, Mrs. Griffiths’ class.  Ah, yes, Mrs. Griffiths’ class…Everybody knew that Mrs. Trader was the “tough” teacher in fifth grade, so I should have been glad not to be in her class, right?  But, most of my friends were there, and I felt “stuck” with the less academically inclined half of my class (I was an all-A student at the time).  God, however, does not make mistakes.  It was in that class that I learned a very important life lesson that probably kept me from getting in much worse trouble in junior high and high school–another post for another day except to say that I learned it doesn’t pay to talk back to a teacher…important lesson for one whose tongue is problematic to this day.  And, because I was a good student, I got to/was assigned to help other students, and had time to do fun things like put up bulletin boards–and, looking back, I think maybe it was then that I really began to think seriously that I might like to be a teacher some day (although I think that was wired into me from birth, really).  So, what looked like one big fat mistake simply wasn’t, and I can see now that God did know what He was doing by putting little old me in that class, and He hasn’t changed since Zach ended up in this particular section of biology class (and there must be something to it…the teacher’s last name–I kid you not–is “Oakleaf”…).

So, being somewhat recovered by breakfast time, at the end of the meal I am brought to tears again–only different this time; not those of the fretting mother, but now those of a child who weeps at the great and tender love of a Father’s heart displayed–as Michael begins reading this day’s devotional thought:

Nothing surprises God.  What puzzles us is permitted by our Lord, for reasons too profound to grasp.  It is put together in the counsel of His own will so that it fits perfectly into His plan for His glory and for His purposes.  As His servant, I say in response, ‘I will not fear.  Though I don’t understand it, I will not fear.  Though You take something that’s deeply significant to me, though You allow a catastrophe to strike, I will not fear.  I will not blame, I will not doubt, and I will not question.'”

And then, the kicker:  “Cease striving, and know that I am God.”  (Psalm 46:10)

Each new school year seems to have its theme verse. I think God handed me this year’s at breakfast today.

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