2 days ago the school year started here in Poulsbo/Kingston. I know this for multiple reasons (1. I’m a youth pastor 2. I live within a block of North Kitsap’s Football Field 3. I have the privilege of hearing the band practice on the field until wee hours in the night). It’s always an interesting thing to me to see how students start to prepare (both mentally and physically) for the new school year. There’s the students that aren’t ready for the year to start and try to squeeze out every last moment of summer as if it’s the last time they’ll have any kind of freedom (that was me). Then there are the kind of students who are tired of summer and can’t wait to take on the challenge of Pre-Calc or Chemistry (that was definitely not me). A great way to get a barometer of whether or not a student is excited for the school year is to ask them after the first day, “how was it?”…if they look like they just finished finals week or they have a countdown to summer than they probably don’t want to start school. The other wonderful “new school year tradition” is getting your new threads (that’s right, I just said threads). For many, this is the best part of starting school again. I believe The Super Mall was created for Back to School shopping. It’s almost like an American Pastime now! I think “Back to School” shopping was created to lure students back to school…
For me, the beginning of a school year was a bitter sweet moment. I still wanted summer but wanted to see my friends again, wanted to try and impress some girls, was ready to get back in the social scene. I was (and am) a fan of getting new clothes…and finding a new pair of shoes 🙂 In a way, I didn’t want summer to end, but was ready for the school year to start.
One of the things that made junior high/high school/college an experience for me was my determination to come out of the Awkward Phase. Like almost every young student, I didn’t realize I was in an Awkward Phase until much later (mid-college). To give you an idea of what I mean, here’s a picture time line from 6th grade – Junior Yr. of college.
The start of the school can be a real exciting time…sadly though, it can also be a time when students dread the next 9 1/2 months. Unfortunately, it’s easy to try to just “get through” a school year. We can find ourselves settling for ordinary, but from a spiritual standpoint, God does not want us to settle for normal. God wants us to be EXTRAORDINARY.
Look at the story of Noah. Yes, he was 600 years old. Yes, he was blameless in the eyes of God. But to everyone else, he was probably just a normal guy (or as normal as you can be for 600 years old). God used this “ordinary” man to do something amazing, something we’ll never see again. Noah built an enormous ship (an ark) and put 2 of every animal in it, including his family and supplies. They then spent 40 days and nights on it as the earth was flooded with water.Talk about incredible!
Noah was used in a profound way, and he could not have done that unless he allowed God to take him from an ordinary place to an extraordinary place. In our own lives, we can face similar situations. All of us can be used in incredible ways if we allow God to take us from the ordinary to the extraordinary!
Will this school year be just another year, or will it be more than that?