Caroline Noll, Pastor for Children and Families
Summer ministries are winding down. My season of travels to workshops, camps, travels and rest has come to a close. It’s difficult to reconcile the end of summer with the first couple of days of August! And just like that, with the turn of the calendar page, comes one particular question. Are you ready for school to start?
Are you ready?
At first the question makes me laugh and think of familiar parenting advice. Don’t ask a question unless you want an answer. What if I say no? What if the children say no? Ready or not, here it comes.
With the laugh, though, comes the anxiety. What do I need to be ready? Do we have the schedule? How is everyone getting to and from school this year? When do we meet the teachers? Do we have clothes that still fit? An outfit for the first day? Do we need new shoes? Will last year’s backpack still work? Who has school supplies on sale and what’s on the list? What do they want in their lunch boxes this year? Do I have everything checked off the list to be ready?
And then I have to breathe. And wonder about being ready. What really helps us get ready.
In Godly Play, we have some practices to help us get ready. We arrive early to prepare our rooms and ourselves. We are mindful of thresholds, of crossing over from one space to the next, expecting to join the circle with God and one another. We find a place that is just right for us in the circle. We settle our bodies in order to focus our minds and spirits. We breathe. We watch. We listen. And then all we can do is begin.
As this season changes, may we make ourselves ready to encounter God in worship and in the world.