The beginnings of fall are here again, and school is in full swing for some people – nearly ready to start for others. New beginnings, new teachers, new friends – the mornings which begin before the sun comes up.
There is always something special about beginning new, but sometimes it can be just a little frustrating. I remember well my first day of – I think it was fifth grade. (Shh. . . it’s been a few years ago!)
We didn’t have uniforms, and my mom was quite a seamstress. I was so excited because mom made me a brand-new dress. It was a brown plaid with lovely yellow buttons. I felt so good in that dress. (Yes, styles were different then, too.) I wasn’t nearly as excited about the “briefcase looking” red, and blue with silver buckles, book bag my dad convinced me would be the best thing for that year.
Have you ever heard the old saying, “Two’s company, three’s a crowd?” Well, I had two very good friends, but that old adage has never been truer. Sometimes they liked me, sometimes they liked each other, but it seemed like it never was the same, no matter what I did. (They probably felt the same way about me!) It changed with the weather – causing my emotions to do the same! We “had a talk” about the situation and decided we were “growing up” we decided, and it was time to get along! So, here we all came on the first day of school. I had a new dress, and a new determination to have better relationships with my friends. What could go wrong?
School began and soon it was recess time. My friends and I were doing our best to work everything out, so we all headed for the swings. Now, the swings were those black rubber kinds that formed around you when you sat in them. Since there were three swings in one section, we decided to loop them through each other so they would all be connected and we could swing together. After they were “looped” my one friend got on one side, my other friend got on the other side, and I was supposed to swing in the middle. I took a mighty jump, endeavoring to land in the swing – and totally flipped out and landed on the ground on my back. Of course, they were howling with laughter, and I managed to get up and make it through my “awful disgrace” somehow.
After we were all back inside, I was so excited because I had finished my work early and got to go to the “reading section” and pick out a book. Somehow in the process of all of this, I squatted down, got my heal caught in the hem of my new dress, and when I stood up, it made an awful rip. I nearly died on the spot . . . what a first day!
In everyone’s “new,” there are always the unspoken questions. How will I know when . . . what if I mess up . . . will they like me . . . will I belong? The whole thing is – it’s ok. The person next to you is either trying to figure it out, or concerned with some “situation” of their own. We need God, and we need each other. Let’s do our best to encourage each other and lift each other up. The Word of God tells us in Proverbs 25:11, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” I also like the way the Message translation says it, “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry.” Let Jesus help you customize your words for each day. Your words display who you really are – and kind words make you attractive to others, and pleasing to God.
It’s amazing how a smile and a uplifting word are always welcome. Look for the good in everyone . . . and if you get a chance – compliment it. Pray for the things you see that aren’t exactly the way you want them. God answers prayer – so He can change you or change the circumstance – whatever He sees best. Let’s do our best this year – in the “new” – and even after the “newness” is all worn off to help each other find a place to belong – in Christ and in His family!
By: Janene A. Dubbeld/FGG