The end of summer. In some ways it is a breath of fresh air, in others, it’s a sad ending. I’m not sure what it’s like in the rest of the world, but in America, especially for families, this time of year is “the real” start of the new year. Sure, we might get fireworks and throw glitter in the winter, but when push comes to shove, this is the time of new beginnings, whether we like it or not. You see, this is when school starts.
The memes of mothers happily sending off their kids after a long summer of them being under their feet have begun, students are excited as they begin another year, higher than they were before, first day of school pictures have been taken, and already one can feel the nip in the air once and a while as the football season begins.
There is something wholesome about it all.
I’m a teacher too, so I too feel this very acutely. This year is the first year both of my daughters are in college, and as one begins their freshman year and another their junior, I can’t help but feel like I’ve graduated too. None the less, this still marks the beginning.
What I love most about beginnings is the opportunity to restart how I do things, to reset what I want “this year” to be like, how I want to improve, how I want to serve the Lord better, how I want to be a better husband, father and brother. Inevitably, I make a list. This year, I looked through all my lists from past years, full of big dreams and broken promises. As I put my list together for this year, I realized it looked a whole lot like last year’s list!
I felt pretty disappointed. Over and over again I try to fix everything, only to not be a Saint at all, instead just a big failure. But as I looked through all my lists this year, I had a sudden realization. The list is changing just a little each year, and it seems like every year, one thing has been fixed. It’s small sometimes, and not the thing I would have chosen to have fixed first, but the Lord is indeed doing something in me. It’s just so slow, can hardly see it. If I hadn’t made my lists, I’m sure I would have forgotten!
So there has been some progress. That is good. Praise God for that, it helps to know that little by little, God is at work in me.
On that note, one of the things on my list this year is to put up more stuff here. I had big plans last year, but when things got busy, as they inevitably do, I didn’t do a great job of keeping this going. Maybe this is the year God helps me get a little more diligent here, I don’t know. If it’s His will, it will happen. I’m glad I can leave it to Him instead of beating myself up!
(Funny side note, as I was about to publish this, I noticed I wrote another article like this last year! Funny how the more things change, the more they stay the same.)