Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Back to School

We’re gearing up for going back to school. That means the kids are making their way through the various stages of grief. They spent the longest time in denial. I think they assume that if they pretend it’s still June, none of the grownups will notice the calendar. I really can picture my kids trying to pull that one off. Imagine them picnicking, camping and working on their tans in the two-foot January snow. Dog days of winter? That doesn’t seem right.

Nope, no matter how long you hold your breath under water at the pool in your attempt to keep summer from ending, eventually you do have to come up for air. I got a clue the kids had made it all the way to the acceptance and heavy-duty mourning stages when I took all the pruny people shopping for back to school clothes and they all asked for black armbands.

Me? I’m coming to understand something about school more and more all the time. It’s never out. I don’t know at what point we learn it, but we do seem to finally grasp the lesson that after we’ve learned a few things, we learn enough to know that we never stop learning. (Speaking of back-to-school learning, please don’t ever, ever ask me to diagram that last sentence.) I probably shouldn’t mention to my children that in the big picture, school is never out. I’m picturing them running and screaming. And I certainly don’t want to have to fish them back out of the pool. Again.

Psalm 90:12 says, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom” (NLT). There’s wisdom in staying in God’s School of Learning. And great satisfaction, too. Making the most of our time is learning to keep learning—not wasting various appendages on fall-denial frostbite. It actually hurts much less to keep growing. As a matter of fact, there’s satisfaction there. And joy! Verse 14 says, “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives” (NLT).

Singing for joy to the end of our lives? That reminds me, too, to spend my time wisely. It reminds me that I’m getting nearer the end of life all the time. No getting around it. I’m getting older. But no matter how old I get, I’m still learning that I have so much more to learn.
So I’m challenging you to not only grow old along with me, but to learn along with me. Be cool. Stay in school!

Incidentally, I’m also finding as I get older (and this is one of those unrelated and not exactly joyous discoveries) that I’m pruny without staying under water at the pool.