School’s out for many children, teachers and ancillary staff as the summer holidays have begun.
For some it’s the end of an era – children leaving their nursery or primary school, teachers and support staff retiring or moving to new schools and teenagers leaving secondary schools for new horizons.
For young children, the prospect of their first day at school is an exciting one – the summer holidays will seem long and it seems ages until the terms starts. Those leaving primary school may find the thought of moving to a much bigger secondary school a daunting one but there will be some excitement hidden amongst their fears of getting lost in the vast school buildings. Teenagers leaving school for the world of employment, university, gap years or the unknown will have lots of mixed feelings about their future.
Those who have been in education for many years and are now faced with retirement will also have mixed feelings; elation at not having to prepare lessons and having more free time as well as wondering how they will fill their hours, having devoted so much time and energy into the life of their schools.
For many, this time of year is a time of change. Leaving family, friends and familiar places and heading to pastures new is something that many of us have experienced in our lifetime. It’s not a new concept – it’s an experience which has been a reality for lots of people for many centuries.
The first disciples of Jesus left the comfort of their homes, their jobs and their way of life to follow Him. Family and friends were left behind as they started out on their new adventure, following Jesus through many countries, cities, towns and villages. What did they think of leaving everything they knew behind to follow a man who promised to be with them always? I’m sure there were feelings of fear, trepidation, excitement, anticipation and enthusiasm. They didn’t know what lay ahead of them when they started out on their journey but they trusted Jesus and he kept his promise to be with them every step of the way.
Do we have the same trust in Jesus to give up everything we know and follow him? Do we put our trust in him in all we do or do we only call on him when things change and we’re not sure which way to turn or when we need his help. Jesus is constant – he is there every hour for us and knows our every need. When things are tough we find it easier to ask for his help but it’s all too easy for us to forget about him when things are going well. Jesus’ love for us is constant and we too need to be unceasing in putting our trust in him, irrespective of what’s happening in our lives.
Jesus said “Come follow me” – are we ready to make the change and follow him?
Gavin A McLean
Old & St Andrew’s Church