Back to School
Back to School has a decidedly different tone this year. Teachers are back everywhere and some of our county schools have returned to student learning while others are a few weeks away. Life has always had a way of introducing variables into our plans which elicit either tremendous frustration or a generous sense of humor. And, then 2020… boy howdy, if there was ever a year we could call upon the year of Jubilee (Leviticus 25:8-55), then this is it.
I think times like this, where familiar patterns in life are not in place and otherwise mundane decisions become highly consequential, are critical to refresh ourselves on God’s will. In short order and without thorough examination in this writing, in summary, I want to remind us that God’s will is rarely a “do this” or “do that” encounter. More often than not, God’s will is expressed by the manner in which we make certain decisions and certainly in the way we live our lives. This is best summed up in the Shemmah Jesus speaks about in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
All the law and prophets are summed up in this “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength (and all your mind – Luke)… you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
In seasons where there are few precedents from the past to make decisions in light of, we are called back to the guiding simplicity of “paradigm” or the overarching guiding principles which should always guide our thoughts and actions. Our communal lack of “what to do” decision making is raised to a higher level of discernment based upon “why” and reveals our true hearts motivation to serve God in all things. So I encourage you to practice filtering all your decisions through this lens the Lord gave us: Is “X” decision a fulfillment of my love of God with all my heart, soul, strength (and mind)? Does this decision reflect my love of neighbor as myself?
Teachers and administrators: may the paradigm of God’s love poured out in Jesus be your guiding light in the fog of 2020. Students, may your caretakers look after you with the tender love of the Good Shepherd. Parents, may the Holy Spirit guide and comfort you all.
On a personal note, this back to school has definitely been different for us at the Yosterosa. Melissa and I launched our first child Emma into the world of University last week. Along with many of you faithful saints reading this, we endured the multi-hour drive home with waves of excitement and random tears. Thank you all for your generous words of encouragement and prayer. Please uphold all our families who have sent out first-time students and particularly those who have launched out their final students.
We do raise them to send them… the only thing harder than raising them is sending them.