In September of 1969 my mom and I pulled into the parking lot of Glenview Community Church. I was four years old. I don’t recall what we talked about, I just remember standing outside the play lot and her talking to some ladies who were by the gate. She wrote something on a clipboard, gave me a hug and sent me through the gate to play. Then she turned her face toward the car and started walking. I screamed for her to stop, cried for her to come back, but she quickened her pace and just kept walking. She got into the car and drove away. This was my first day of pre-school.
The first day of any significant endeavor is loaded with meaning and emotion. It represents life-change and makes manifest the passage of time. How many of us have greeted a first day with comments like, “Where did the time go?” or “It seems like only yesterday that…”
A first day can be positive or negative; there’s the first day at a new job, first day in a new home, first day of treatment, first day of learning to live without someone you love. Bitter or sweet first days share some common characteristics. They require us to trust, to let go and to learn. Inherent in a first day is the fear of the unknown and the hope that the next day will be better.
Some first days are planned and some are not but as we encounter them, we can find comfort in the presence of our God. In Jesus, we see that God desires to be with us, to cry with us, to laugh with us and to grant us strength and peace. So remember, on your next, first day, you are not alone, God walks with you and your friends are here as well.