The Baker Blog
Pastor Mike Baker Of Eastview Christian Church 2017
Back to School

Summer is winding down, and that means that the grade schools, high schools, and universities in my town are gearing up for another year of study.  You would think that this annual rite of fall no longer has any effect on me.  After all, it has been 34 years since I prepared for my senior year of high school, and 30 since I packed up for my last year of college.  Further, it has been 6 years since I had to help my wife get a kid ready for another year of learning.  And yet, I find myself both spiritually and emotionally excited for “back to school” season.  Maybe it’s just that the “back to school” specials and ads have inundated my world, but I think it’s more.  “Back to school” (even if you aren’t actually going back) is a natural time to make some changes…both literally, emotionally, which is to say, of course, spiritually.  Consider three “back to school” practices that we all need this time of year.

1.  Back to school is a time of taking inventory.  This is the time of year when parents make their way to Wal-Mart with lists to buy supplies for their students.  How many pencils do I have and need (and are they the right kind…they still use pencils right?)?  Do I need new clothes?  Time to buy a laptop?  What text books do I have to have?  This kind of inventory is essential for having all the right tools for learning-every student is making sure they have everything required for success.  It’s not a bad practice for all of us.  Student or not, take some time to make a list of what you need this fall to succeed spiritually.  Maybe time to buy a Bible (or a new one)?  When’s the last time you read something that challenged your faith?  Did you sign up for a small group or Bible study at church?  Is there a spiritual growth app (maybe your church you attend has one) you have neglected to download?  For best spiritual results this fall, take inventory of what you have and don’t have on hand for growth.  

2.  Back to school is getting ready to grow.  Willingly or not, back to school is naturally a time to think about growth.  It’s more easily measured in the grade school years.  For instance, when you go from addition and subtraction in math class to multiplication tables, you are growing.  Even students who don’t go to school with the desire to learn as much as they can, will end up growing.  Back to school is moving from Jr. High to Sr. High, moving off to college, finally becoming a senior, a measurable moving up the “grade” ladder.  And with each stage of progression, growth happens.  Again, I see the spiritual parallels.   This is the perfect time of year to consider what your next stage of growth in Christ is for you.  What areas in your walk to you need to mature in?  What specific spiritual discipline need more discipline?   How would you like to grow in your faith?  This is a natural time of year to talk to God about these things.  Whatever you do, don’t stay the same.  Get ready to grow!

3.  Back to school is getting back to routine.  Finally, back to school means the end of mid-week sleep-overs, camping trips, vacations, staying up and sleeping late, summer jobs and chores, and watching hours of t.v.  Soon, you’ll have to set the alarm to catch the bus, have a class schedule, and get assignments that will take hours to complete.  And you’ll development a routine, day after day, week after week that will allow you to accomplish all the stuff you have to. While we all claim to hate  the boredom of routine, there is actually something comforting about routine.  Embrace this in your spiritual walk as well.  Get back in the habit of going to church every week.  Reconnect with your small group and Christian friends.  Recommit to your daily times of prayer and the word.  Set a regular time for eating meals together as a family.  Routine allows us to form habits that become lifestyles that make us more and more like our Lord Jesus.  

It’s that time of year.  The time for new routines, new learning, new growth, and a new you.  Back to school.  

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