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The first day of school

Confessions of a realistic pollyanna

As a child, I always liked school. I liked learning. I knew that if I wanted to leave my small town, I had to get educated. School was a means to an end- a ticket to somewhere else.

I liked school. That however, did not mean that I didn't get anxious before the first day of school. Would my new teacher be nice? Would my friends be in my class? Would there be any bullies? What new things would I learn this year? Would I continue to be near the top of the class or would my grades slip a bit? There were other things that I struggled with as well. You see during the school year I had a fairly regimented schedule. I had to be up by 715 to make it to school. I had violin lessons on Tuesday and Thursday. Bed time was set. But in the summer, everything was more relaxed. Sometimes I might sleep in till 8. Some days we would swim or play with friends. Sometimes I had chores to do. Occasionally I could stay up late. The beginning of the school year meant an end to this freedom. Even though I liked school, I missed the freedom that school holidays could bring.

Next month, millions of children, in North America, will prepare to go back to school after a 2 or 3 month summer break. I am sure that many people will be growing through mixed emotions like I do. There will be moments of joy, anger, sadness, excitement in the air. These mixed emotions will be felt by teachers, parents and children. Many nights will be shortened with anticipation of what is to come.

In some ways I can relate to these school fueled emotions. No I am not going back to school but I wonder about who is in my new congregation. Who are the teachers? the leaders? the carers? the administrators? the doers? What things have I learned which will be helpful along the way and what new things will my new congregation teach me? I know I have changed over my 29 years of ministry? How will I need to change once more? It is like I am sitting on that precipice of the first day of school all over again. Blessings

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