Today’s Reading: Ecclesiastes 3
There is a time for everything…
On August 17th it was time to take my son to college. We rented a van, packed it full with everything we thought he might need, and headed out. After a few hours setting up his room, we went to dinner, took him back to his dorm and left for home. I was a little choked up when we left, but overall we’d had a great day and I held it together pretty well.
The next morning I needed to return the van at 8am. B.J. had meetings (and my second driver now lives in Missouri), so I dropped the van at Enterprise and decided to just walk home. Earlier that morning, my friend Teresa had sent me a short podcast called 239: A Sending Prayer for College Freshmen .
I crossed the street, got on the Constitution Trail and turned on the podcast. On August 18th it was my time to cry. I probably listened to that podcast at least five times as I cried the entire hour it took me to walk home. When my heart was too sad to even find the right words to talk to God, the words of this prayer by Emily P. Freeman were just what I needed. Thank you Lord, your timing is perfect.
They’ll move out of home this week and will bring their bags filled with clothes and their boxes filled with books. But you see what they bring in their hearts – anticipation, adventure, love, regret, anxiety, motivation, and hope.
They are a mix of excited, ready, terrified, and wide-eyed freedom.
As they look for a fresh start, remind them of your faithfulness every morning no matter where they call home.
As they look for community, remind them you are always with them no matter where they go.
As they look for adventure, remind them how you walk on water, turn water to wine, feed thousands from just a few pieces of bread. Remind them how you bring life straight up out of death, beauty straight out of ashes.
May they be open to the greatest adventures found in your divine presence and the greatest love that comes from your heart.
When insecurity, comparison, disappointment and failure knock on their door, may they begin to understand this is part of growing up. They’re not doing it wrong, they’re just human.
May they be quick to listen, open to apology and swift to forgive.
Weave your wisdom into the fibers of their soul, bearing the fruit of confidence, clarity, contentment and a light heart.
May they not despise their humanity, rather may they embrace it.
May they not despise their body, rather may they learn to receive and respect their shape as a gift.
May they not despise their weakness, rather may they see how weakness brings a daily reminder to trust.
May they not fear failure, rather may they thrive in the midst of it.
May they not be quick to judge, rather may they be patient and curious.
Help them to find true friends and be a true friend in return.
Help them find their voice and to use it to be an advocate for themselves and for others.
Help them to see with eyes filled with compassion, equity, justice and love.
Replace their shame with courage.
Replace their confusion with peace.
Replace their fear with a love that moves within them, and around them, beyond their ability to understand.
May your grace surprise them kindly along their way.