Today is the first day of school for my children. There are a lot of traditions that go along with the first day of school: new lunch boxes, fresh school supplies and plenty of pictures. My favorite tradition happened last night. My family, along with close friends, gathered in the driveway of one of the families that we have linked arms with as we raise our kids (to read more about the importance of relationships in raising your children, click here). We form a big circle and we ask the kids, “how can we pray for you before the school year begins tomorrow?” The answers vary…”that I can get my locker open…that sports go well and that we remain injury free…that I have someone to each lunch with…that I can be a good friend to kids who may need a friend.” Then, we ask the parents, “how can we pray for you before the school year begins tomorrow?” The answers are similar…”that our children are safe…that our children would make good choices…that our children would be a beacon of light in their school.” And then we pray. The students and the parents pray. We pray for the bus drivers, the teachers and the administrators. We pray for the students and the parents. We thank God for the incredible blessing of our children and our schools.
The kids range in age from pre-school to college. We have stood in that circle as our kids have carried the burden of bullies, cancer and divorce. We have stood in that circle as our kids have celebrated college decisions, academic accomplishments and sports successes. Here is what I know…Small Matters…and this small amount of time, spent in prayer with these friends matters more than we can imagine.