“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NRSV)
Last Tuesday, my nieces and nephews (who all live in Houston, Texas) went back to school. Needless to say, it looked much different than any other back to school has before. My brother’s three children each had a laptop or notebook device and logged-on ready to go! However, their middle child, Paige, decided to spread all her school supplies out on the dining room table in case her teacher wanted to see them. My sister’s two children dressed up and took pictures like it was the first day, but did not go anywhere but upstairs with their nanny while my sister began her 14th year of teaching from her laptop and my brother-in-law worked remotely from his laptop downstairs. One of my godchildren who lives in Austin, began their sophomore year of high school while on vacation in the mountains of North Carolina because everything is remote.
A clergy colleague in Minnesota was lamenting that his youngest is starting his senior year and they would soon have an “empty nest.” Another colleague in Illinois was frustrated about how ill-prepared his daughter’s school was for virtual learning. It reminded me of the myriad of emotions that “Back to School” brings.
And yet, it isn’t just Back to School that can bring a myriad of emotions right now, is it? I have heard more than one person comment to me that they were okay with social distancing and careful measures to ensure everyone’s safety at first, but now they’re just “over it.” Or maybe I am more tuned-in to those comments since that is how I feel. Either way, I believe there is real truth to that. The slightest inconveniences can cause significant frustrations and I actually teared up at a car commercial recently!
We must each let our authentic emotions be exactly that – authentic. It’s okay to feel how you feel. You don’t owe anyone an explanation or justification. You feel how you feel. But in case you’re having a hard day or feeling a little down, below you’ll find an adorable picture of my nephew Taylor and niece Kathryn Wright on their first day of school last week.
Prayer Focus: Teachers back in school
Prayer: “Loving God, grant me patience as I feel all of my emotions. Amen.”