To my boys on their first day of school,
In their welcome packets, your teachers asked me what my goals for you this year were.
I thought maybe they should be something academic like you all learn to read completely on your own or you excel in math. Definitely worthwhile goals for a new school year. But in the end, I came to rest on something quite different – a list of goals that as much applies to you as to me.
This year my goal for you is to laugh a lot. Deep belly laughs that make your stomach ache. Laughs that are contagious and born from moments of pure joy.⠀
I want you to make new friends, ones that you can’t wait to get to school to see and ones that help you when you are sad, confused, or hurting.
I pray you are good friends to others helping raise them up even when it challenges you.
I hope you come to know yourselves as God sees you, persons worthy of unconditional love no matter what.
May you be challenged to think about how you treat others, what your words and actions mean when they come to rest upon another human being also loved by God.
May you learn to be brave and believe that you can, in fact, change the world by simply being who God created you to be.
This morning, when I wake you all up, I probably won’t tell you these goals directly. I imagine it’ll instead be a harried morning of getting you dressed, masked up, and out the door in time. But I pray that by writing this list down, I’ll remember to live these goals alongside of you so that together we may leave this year… better.
Have a great first day.