Back to Basics
Oh the simplicity of being a child—when our biggest losses were losing a toy, not losing a loved one. No matter how we dressed or what color skin we had, we always fit in. Instead of writing hurtful words, pretty pictures were written on sidewalks. Insecurities were non-existent, and every smile was real. The days when playing pretend amused us, rather than playing with someone’s emotions. Our only responsibilities were deciding what flavor of juice box we wanted, not deciding what to do with the rest of our lives. There was ease in knowing someone else was in charge of our money and our hair. Holding hands meant you were friends, and holding onto a dream seemed so easy. Our biggest fears were the monsters in our closets, not the monsters in our heads.
Here’s to the years when every friendship was true; the times when dolls and trucks were all we knew. Those were the days where in the sandbox we played, life was so perfect, and magic existed. Oh the simplicity of being a child—the days we let our imaginations run wild. Those were the good times, unlike all others, then we grow up, and the real world’s discovered.
Summer is over, and the back-to-school blues are beginning to set in. The summer sun has set, the lightning bugs have darkened their glow, and the crickets have quieted their songs. The school bell once again rings loudly, introducing a brand new start. The freshmen are entering new territory, the sophomores will reside on the middle ground, and juniors and seniors will actively begin seeking out their next steps in earnestly pursuing their place in this world.
As knowledge increases, so does the list of supplies you will need. As you enter the twelfth grade, you can no longer rely on Crayola and finger-paints to get the job done. We must realize, as we grow up, we must put away some of the childish things and move forward as we learn. But to what extent?
As we meander through these studying years, we mustn’t forget we can still learn a lot from our elementary school selves. I am not promoting immaturity, but I am simply sending a gentle reminder that we can still absorb so much from those innocent years when we were young and the world was simple.
Robert Fulghum, the author of Everything I need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, reiterates this idea directly. He reminds his readers of some of the most important rules of the first classroom.
“Share everything. Play fair. Don’t hit people. Put things back where you found them. Clean up your mess. Don’t take things that aren’t yours. Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you. Live a balanced life. Take a nap every afternoon. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together. Always be aware of wonder.”
As I sit here, a recent college alumnus, these simple “rules” strike wonder back into my graduated heart. I can say this with certainty: whether you are in middle school, high school, or college, you will face opposition, confusion, and indecision along the way. That’s the bad news. But never lose that childlike reverence. It will help more than you know. That’s the good news.
When you enter into this new school year take some time to get back to the basics. Stay in the Word; seek God above all (Matthew 6:33). Appreciate the little things. Love people. Be happy. When things begin to weigh you down, don’t give up. Learn to forgive, not just other people, but also yourself. Stop counting calories or numbers on a scale. Dwell on the good things. Laugh as often as you can. Don’t give up on your dreams. Read more of the things you want to read. Be patient. Take that trip you have always wanted to take. Trust the God who created, not only you, but also the whole universe you dwell in. Stop being insecure, intimidated, or fearful. You weren’t given the spirit of fear. Keep that childlike faith and wonder as you learn and grow.
Remember, stories will conclude. Technology will redevelop. Styles will modernize. People will continue to spend money they don’t have to buy distractions they don’t need. Societies will remain in a social-media crazed mindset, constantly scrolling through feeds to entertain their minds with what everyone else entertains themselves with.
But these years are special. Although there will be opposition and heartache, these are some of the greatest stages of your life. Take it one day at a time, and trust God with all your heart.
Approach this period of your life—not with a naïve, flippant attitude—but with a learning, moldable, and foundational outlook. Everything will not be perfect, but do your best to find joy and awareness in every situation.
As a wise man once said: “Do something today that your future self will thank you for and be good to the elder you will one day be.” So now is the time, as you are growing up, to get back to some of the most important principles and foundations. Let the learning process commence. Take a seat. School is now in session.
“And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:2-4)
Rachel Thorne was born in Florida and has lived in many places throughout the United States. She is a graduate of Urshan College, formerly known as Gateway College of Evangelism. She wants to make a difference and change her world. Rachel is actively seeking the will of God for her life and is willing to do whatever He has for her.