By Carol Brown   



School started this week for most of our schools in and around Macon and for the first time in 15 years, I did not get up before daylight, take embarrassing first-day-of-school pictures of my children, and see them off to another year of learning. I'll admit that makes me a little sad and a lot sentimental.


I still observed one of my favorite traditions that marks the beginning of the school year, though. Each year, before school starts, I invite our Highland Hills kindergarteners to a special evening at my house. We play school-related games, eat pizza, and talk about what it will be like to go to real school for the first time. Last Tuesday, as we gathered around my kitchen table, I told the kindergarteners that when they are heading off to school for the first time, they can remember that God goes with them to school each day and that God will give them the strength, and the smarts, to do all things. I reminded them that when they are meeting new teachers, making new friends, and learning new things, they will not be alone. Wherever they go, and whatever they do, God goes with them.


As I looked into the sweet faces of those five year olds, I couldn't help thinking about my eighteen-year-old son, Hudson, who will be encountering his own first-day-of-school experiences in a few days. On Saturday, we will take Hudson to Washington, DC, to begin his freshman year at American University. As he meets his roommates, finds his way around DC, and tackles the difficulties of college classes, I hope he'll remember the same lessons he learned as a kindergartner...that God will give him the strength, and the smarts, to do all things. And if he begins to feel that home is a long way away, I hope he will remember that he is not alone. God has promised, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Hebrews 13:5).


When faced with new challenges and unknown circumstances, we all need a little reminder of God's constant presence in our lives. Whether we're approaching kindergarten, college, or just day-to-day stuff, it helps to know that God will give us the strength to do all things.