The first day of the new school year

It’s August 15, 2016, and it’s the first day of the new school year. I couldn’t help but notice on Facebook early this morning the many posts displaying smiling faces of young ones dressed and ready for the first day of school. There were pictures of happy faces from kindergarten to high school seniors. I took the time to offer up a short prayer for them all, including the teachers, bus drivers and all support staff who will be working hard to provide a successful year for them all. And I didn’t forget the parents, who’ll be relieved from the responsibility of providing entertainment during the summer months, but who’ll also be concerned about their precious ones while they’re out of sight for most of each day over the next nine months.

As much as I hate to think about it, I couldn’t help but give thoughts to the darkness that looms unwelcome in the corners of our society. There are the deranged among us who will seek opportunities to do harm to our most precious commodity, our hope for the future. I can’t forget Sandy Hook, Columbine and other places of learning that were unexpectedly assaulted by sick individuals who sought to do harm to innocence. It’s a strange world in which we live today, where security measures are not only in place at our prisons, but also at our schools. Schools are places where the pursuit of learning and social development should take place without fear of violence. Unfortunately, all of our institutions, e.g., family, religion, education, and government, purposed for development and safety, are required to be on alert for reasons which have nothing to do with their charge.

Though I pray and have some degree of fear for our children, who are off each day to their places of education, I’m still hopeful that the vast majority of them will emerge from their educational journeys as beacons of light, ready to serve society. Our charge for now is to love them, pray for them, and keep an eye on them, to ensure that they can live and develop to their fullest potential without fear of harm.

I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.

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