Wednesday, August 21, 2013


I stopped in the preschool classroom yesterday to say good-bye to the half dozen or so kids who would be leaving our program to begin kindergarten this year.  I have been reading to them for the last couple of years, every Thursday morning when there was no conflict (and I always tried to make sure there wasn't!), and have enjoyed their questions, their eagerness, their energy, their delight in the stories.  As they gathered around me to give me a hug, they chattered excitedly about starting kindergarten, but if you looked closely, there was that look in their eyes that said, 'please, tell me it is going to be okay.'

We all have experienced that sort of feeling, haven't we?  The first time we let go of our parent's hand to get on the school bus; moving into our office at the new job, and after putting everything in the desk drawer and on the shelves, looking around and wondering, 'okay, now what?'  That first date; that march down the aisle; hugging everyone at graduation, wondering if we really would stay in touch over the years; standing by the graveside saying good bye to that person who had been our rock, our best friend in the whole world.

I remember leaving for college.  Packing everything in the footlocker, getting my ticket, climbing on the bus for the trip down to the school.  I couldn't wait to get out of my hometown, to begin this new adventure, to finally be out on my own.  But as the miles rolled by under my seat on the bus, as we drew closer and closer, the acid begin to churn in my stomach, my head began to ache, the doubts tightened the muscles in my shoulders, the jitters began their little dance in my soul.

So as I think about my little friends heading off to kindergarten, as I think of the high schoolers whose first classes at the university start this week, for those who might be starting a new position or moving into retirement, for the person going out on a first date this weekend, for everyone who is dealing with uncertainty, with questions, with jitters in their life, I hope they discover the same truth I have over all these years, the truth the psalmist for today affirms that God will be our guide, our companion, forever!

(c) 2013  Thom M. Shuman

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