by Pastor Mark Jordan
Today is the first day of school for many of our students in the Cartersville City and Bartow County School systems. Personally, it is quite a momentous day since it is the first day of Ethan’s senior year, not to mention Mia starting first grade.
A friend of mine once shared that she cried on the first and last day of school for completely different reasons. Tiffany and I have certainly done this, and I know many tears will be shed this year…tears of pride, joy, and wondering where in the world time went!?
We know a lot of instruction will take place this year, and in dramatic ways. We hope Mia will gain a firmer grasp on language, writing, problem solving, and independence with personal responsibility. The gist of the lessons for Ethan will be similar, but infinitely different. Yes, we hope he gets stronger with reading, writing, and arithmetic, but this is when those lessons of personal responsibility and independence really need to become ingrained — those wings are getting ready to spread so he can fly, and I passionately want to ensure he is ready, while knowing all along his parents are there to help.
As we start the new school year, I am praying Proverbs 4:13 for our kids, as well as all of our educators, Tiffany, and me: “Hold on to instruction; don’t slack off; protect it, for it is your life” (CEB). I pray my kids learn these lessons, but I pray even more fervently that “holding on to instruction” means we are devoted to teach, and not just rely on the schools to shoulder that burden.
I pray this also for all of us on this first day of school! May we each do our part to help the students of all ages to know the importance of learning. It’s easy to slack off at times, but these are the moments when we need to hold fast to the wisdom of Proverbs 22:6, “Train children in the way they should go; when they grow old, they won’t depart from it” (CEB).
There will be plenty of pictures taken today, and cameras used to obscure the tears of parents, grandparents, and guardians as they see their “little ones” reach another milestone. So whether it’s the first, last, or somewhere in the middle, may we collectively hold on to instruction so our beloveds will not depart from it, because it is all of our lives.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I lift you high on this first day of school, along with all the students, teachers, staff, coaches, administrators, drivers, and everyone who has the responsibility of instructing, serving, and caring for our children. They are precious to us, but even more so to you! Help me to do my part, to guard and protect this process, in service, honor, and glory to you. I pray this in Jesus’ holy name, also known as the good teacher. Amen.