Don’t Let the ‘Back-to-School Rush’ Diminish Your Humanity

Whenever we enter a new season of life, we must care for our souls in the process.

The beginning of a new school year can bring relief or disappointment, or both. As a mom of three young children, I’m looking forward to the return of familiar school-year routines—and I’m also dreading the return of early morning tardy bells. My kids feel their own ambivalence: It’s exciting to get a new lunchbox, but scary to walk into a new classroom full of people.

Almost all transitions create a subtle (or not so subtle) cocktail of emotions. But transition times are often so busy that we don’t attend to our interior lives in the flurry of tasks and deadlines. The result is a kind of survival mode that runs on adrenaline and cultivates numbness. Last August, I Tweeted a summary of my family’s first three days of school: Day 1—“Everything is awesome!” Day 2—“Everything is terrible!” Day 3— “Where am I?”

In the modern West, we value productivity and efficiency. A “successful” start to the school year looks like securing all the items on every supply list and making it to all the meet-the-teacher events on time and intact. Some of us thrive on these kinds of tasks. Others of us feel defeated and frazzled by them.

But for all of us, the busyness of transitions can mask the slower, deeper work of spiritual formation that new seasons call forth in us and in our relationships. In other words, survival mode can only serve us up to a point. It might help us cope (and get those supply lists taken care of) but it cannot steward our hearts.

As Christians, we have access to a different, more layered mindset to help us navigate the back-to-school rush. Instead of merely focusing on external routines and benchmarks, we can prepare for …

Continue reading

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.