Ever since I first entered kindergarten, I have adored the first day of school. Other children, my brother included, screamed and cried and clung to their mom’s skirts, despairing at thought of having to enter that classroom, but me? I happily waved to mom and skipped jauntily into the classroom, eager to conquer the kindergarten arena. I loved seeing all of the desks neatly arranged, the cubby holes ready and waiting to be filled, the decorations on the walls beckoning me closer, and of course, the Play-Doh. I was hooked. Each year, the night before the first day of school would come, and I would hardly be able to sleep for the excitement of wondering who would be in my class, where I would sit, what we would learn, what my teacher would be like, and I almost always woke up before I needed to, so anxious was I to start a new school year.
New school years are new beginnings. The grades from last year have been replaced with a clean slate (except within my mind, where I still can recall getting my first B in math, in fifth grade no less), the petty fights with friends have been healed by the summer months, and the promises of new experiences, new friends, and new knowledge shimmer in the morning sunlight.
But when I am tempted to just crumble onto my desk, consumed by these fears, I remember the phrase that has comforted me countless times before: worrying robs me of my joy and God of His glory. If I focus on all of the these petty insecurities, that means I am not focusing on the One who looks at me and sees His daughter, the one He has fearfully and wonderfully made. If I dwell on these fears, I give them power, and the only One who truly has power holds the world within His hands and will not let me go. I am reminded of the words of David in Psalm 27:1: “The Lord is my light and my salvation–whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life–of whom shall I be afraid?” Of whom (or what!), indeed?
“One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and seek Him in His temple.” Psalm 27:4