Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Preparing For A New Year

Well here we are well into the summer and our plans for yet another school year. It is hard to believe that there are now five years under our belt. We have learned many lessons and made plenty of mistakes and have learned that we have a great deal more to learn. I guess that is what it comes down to, there is plenty for all of us to learn.

As we have worked our way through the reform during this past year we have come to appreciate that there is a new way to learn. There is now so much information being produced that we either become overwhelmed or we shut it out. Neither response is acceptable. What we as teachers and parents need to do is learn how to apply filters so only the information that is healthy and good for mental and spiritual growth will be allowed through. This will be a constant adjustment as we go through life, helping our children to understand that these filters will need adjustments. We as parents must also struggle when to adjust those filters with our children, resisting the temptation to leave the same filters in place from 2 years to 18 years of age.

The good thing to know is that we do not need to go through this alone. We do not make our journey alone. First, we have the Holy Spirit who represents the presence of Jesus. He is our source of wisdom, discernment and strength. We also have many traveling companions in the form of each other. There is never a need for any of us to remain lost, lonely or confused, feeling overwhelmed. We are all learning together in this journey.

One thing is for sure, in this desire to learn and to grow we will make mistakes and so will our children. We should not hold back from fear of failure or of making fools of ourselves. We need to take risks and hope that our fellow sojourners will show us the same grace we are willing to show to them. This applies to our children as well. Forgiveness is one of the most important lessons we need to learn; a forgiveness that refuses to remember the offense. We understand the importance of doing this with one another but do we understand the importance of doing this with our children?

In this area of forgiveness I recommend a simple book by Amy Hollingsworth that we have in our school library. It is titled, The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers It is not so much a biography of Fred Rogers as much as it is an exploration of his spiritual insights. In the book Mrs. Hollingsworth gives a simple account of how this one lesson changed Mister Rogers for the rest of his life. Reading it may have that same effect on yours.

Stay in touch over the summer and I will try to keep you updated as to our progress in preparing for the new school year. God bless.

Pastor Paul
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