"I have been praying recently about schools fully reopening for the new school year. Starting school for the very first time can be challenging for young children and starting a new school at whatever age can also be quite daunting.
This year of course, there are many additional considerations for families, teachers, schools, colleges and universities. The news reports seem to be full of fear and doubt and guidelines seems to change almost daily.
All of our grandchildren will be back at school soon and one of our daughters and her husband are also teachers and I found myself beginning to become quite anxious for them all. Undoubtedly, every school has been working towards fully reopening and many new procedures have been put in place to help the community feel at ease but there was this little ‘what if ‘ niggle that remained in my thought.
I realised that I needed to pray very specifically about this in order to replace the ‘what if’ thoughts with thoughts of spiritual peace and protection.
In the Bible, in Psalms 121, we read:
‘The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.’
These verses were my starting point, mentally affirming that all those in schools could be confident in God’s love and protection at the beginning of the day through to the end of the day, every day.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science, wrote Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures and I pondered these words on page 66.
‘Trials are proofs of God's care. Spiritual development germinates not from seed sown in the soil of material hopes, but when these decay, Love propagates anew the higher joys of Spirit, which have no taint of earth. Each successive stage of experience unfolds new views of divine goodness and love.’
Starting school does sometimes seem ‘a trial’ but we can affirm that even these situations are proofs of God’s care and any new experience unfolds ‘new views’ … new, refreshing and exciting ways of looking at things ahead of us. I realised that instead of dwelling on the ‘what if’s’ I needed to immediately replace them an expectancy of good.
I always find the hymns in the Christian Science hymnal comforting and strengthening and recently I have been praying with hymn 139.
The first verse is:
‘I walk with Love along the way and O, it is a holy day;
No more I suffer cruel fear, I feel God’s presence with me here;
The joy that none can take away is mine;
I walk with Love today.’
Substituting the words ‘I walk’ with the phrase ‘I go to school’ has given me such a gentle reassurance that God’s Love and protection is with my family as well as everyone else beginning a new school term!"