Change is coming and we need to be ready. Here in my ‘School of Thoughts’ I’m wondering if you’ve remembered to bring an apple for the teacher? Actually, any fruit will do. I’m not fussy.
But I have a confession to make – I’m not really a teacher, either, although it does run in the family. There is no homework to do and any ‘lesson’ you receive from these words is incidental.

In this season, some young people are getting ready to meet and greet their new teacher for the first time and may be viewing it with a mixture of excitement and trepidation – as indeed may their parents. It will bring a whole host of changes to their lives, some of which may be welcome and others not.

Change – what does that word conjure up for you?

Perhaps you embrace it gratefully
Perhaps you dread it
Perhaps you feel alternately scared and happy about it

A lot depends on the type of change and whether or not you have had any say in the matter.

When I developed M.E. over 20 years ago I was ill-prepared for how my life would change from the one I had envisaged and hoped for. Subsequent health problems steered me even further from my hopes and dreams.

What has helped me is summed up in this:

‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us’ ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Change can be very unsettling. The familiar can be reassuring and comforting.

We all need a place to feel safe and secure and people we can trust. That place can be our inner life with God – an anchor of stability in life’s ever-changing circumstances.

We can have great turmoil going on around us yet be at peace because God either calms and quietens us in the midst of the storms or may indeed remove them if He chooses. This promise remains though:

‘Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid’ ~ John 14:27

Here are a few suggestions for what the process of change may involve:

  • Courage
  • Hope
  • Adaptation
  • New – ways of thinking, doing, being
  • Grit – and determination to see it through
  • Energy – and enthusiasm helps

I’m sure you can think of many more – all suggestions welcome!
The poem below reflects the experience of leaving school but it could also be viewed as moving from any place where the leaving is final and the leave-taking is without choice. It was written with a degree of trepidation for facing the future, at a time before I fully trusted the One who holds the future in His hands.

‘Reflections on Leaving School’

Barriers down –


shut me out

of their personal
bars, locks,
of bitter regret.
can chain the feeling
walls are alive.
speak to me,
softly whispering
Do heartaches,
and inspirations
wither – 
or do they
beyond this