First Day of School

Slow down in the school zones. Watch out for minivans driven by smiling mothers ecstatic about the first day of school. Keep an eye out for packs of elementary school boys running between cards decked out with new tennis shoes and backpacks. By all means don’t forget the teachers walking toward the schools fixated on the calendars of their smart phones thinking to themselves, “Where did the summer go?!”

Somewhere in America, you could have probably overheard the following conversation. Mom shouts upstairs saying, “Son, it’s time to go to school.” A muffled voice from underneath the pillow replies, “I don’t want to go to school.” Undeterred Mom shouts back, “You have to go to school. Give me two reasons why you don’t want to go to school today.” After a brief pause a voice replies, “The students don’t like me and the teachers don’t like me. Give me two reasons why I should go to school.” Mom scratches her head and shouts, “You are fifty-two years old, and you are the principal!”

If you haven’t thanked God for the principals, teachers, counselors, administrative assistants, music teachers and coaches on the front lines for our children this week. Stop now and thank the Lord for their hard work and sacrifice.

For the Lowrie clan this has been an historic week, my baby girl Madison texted me a picture of her arm in arm with three coeds at Dallas Baptist University with the headline “My last first day of school.” The Lord willing, Madison will graduate from college in December with her B.A. in Psychology. Her graduation will be a thrill to her mom and my accountant.

On the same day, my daughter Jamie started her first day of school as a first grade teacher. I don’t know who was more scared, the children or the teacher. By the way, Jamie came down with a sore throat and cold before the end of her first week…welcome to the world of little children and germs!

As I reflected this week on my educational adventures, I came across the following quotes on education that made me smile. For instance:

Ray LeBlond observed: “You learn something new every day….if you pay attention.”

Or Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant men who ever lived who also was slow to talk and failed his first university entrance exam noted:

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.”

 As an adjunct Christian studies professor for Howard Payne and a Baptist preacher, I must confess I resonate with the observation of W.H. Auden who wrote:

“A professor is someone who talks in someone else’s sleep.”

 You may or may not be aware that one of the great forces behind education for the masses has been the Christian church. Many of the great universities of our land like Princeton and Harvard were founded by devout Christians to train pastors and generations of Christian world leaders. Early believers after the invention of the printing press taught children to read so they could read the Bible and come to a personal relationship with God in the sacred space of their own bedrooms.

As followers of Jesus let me encourage you to be champions of education and lifelong learning.  Solomon wrote to his son the following admonition:

“Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.” (Proverbs 4:13 ESV)

As we close out the first week of school whisper a prayer for the teachers and students of our fair city. Pray this school year will be one of great learning and adventure…and yes, prayer because as the saying goes, “As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools!”

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