Monday, August 8, 2011
Family Faith - Back to School Rituals
Every year it gets more exciting. Whether you're the parent or the student, starting back to school is a big deal. It shows that laziness is not a way of life. Summer is great but it too must come to an end and we must fill our brains with knowledge if we are to ever to escape the routine of school.
Today was the first day of school for my boys. First day of middle school for the oldest and last first day of elementary for the middle (5th grade). One is going to be swamped with new responsibilities and the other will finally be the big dog on campus that he's always wanted to be.
The baby also starts her first day of dance class this afternoon. So not to be forgotten, she wore her dance outfit on Saturday and told everyone she was starting dance.
By some people's standards we aren't a strong family. We don't have a large mass of wealth built up. We excel at what we do but we aren't the "golden children" of our professions or classmates. We are just ordinary.
The one thing that makes us extraordinary is our faith. It is woven into all that we do. We are closer to each other because of our beliefs and we know that when things go wrong we have something divine to lean on.
Gideon and his family weren't much different: (Judges 6)
14 Then the Lord turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!”
15 “But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!”
16 The Lord said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.”
And then Gideon makes a ritual sacrifice to show God that he knows God is the one making all the difference in their lives.
We have a few back to school rituals. We have a bigger breakfast than normal. We take pictures of ordinary things like riding the bus or the golf cart to school. We have a special treat for a snack when school is over and we talk about the excitement and newness of the first day during dinner. And finally at the end of the day we pray and thank God for all the possibilities that are before us.
It is these rituals that remind us that today is special not just because school is starting but because God is still with us on our journey.
I hope everyone has an amazing school year. May your blessings and rituals help you grow strong and closer to God and each other.
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