The unscheduled (?) time of summer school vacation is over. In May, parents and students yearned for school cycle schedules to end. In August, parents and many students yearned for those schedules to return. The truth: school year "hectic" and summer "hectic" are each truly hectic. Each is quite different. But in spite of their differences, each deserves the designation of "hectic."

Is it not amazing that the school year cycle has a primary influence on all our lives? That cycle affects all of us. That cycle even affects those of us whose children are grown. Does any grandparent wish to affirm that the happenings in the lives of your grandchildren has zero impact on your life?

The cycle of the school year powerfully influences the activities of the congregation. Some things cannot be done well in the summer because of realities created by summer vacation. Other things can occur only in the summer because summer provides the necessary opportunity.

Summer is commonly a "helter skelter, spur of the moment" period for most people. It is the time of family vacations, weekends at the lake, ball teams, spur-of-the-moment "just-for-fun" trips, and family reunions. Summer months are more flexible for many people. There are fewer scheduling conflicts.

However, scheduling conflicts and over commitment reign supreme from September through May. Prioritizing is essential. With priorities, life is difficult. Without priorities, life is impossible.

A critical essential: make certain that you use a mature, wise perspective before you establish priorities. Priorities established without perspective live to mock us by bringing grief and regret. The death of someone we love, our own serious illness, the consequences of poor choices, children who reject responsibility, defiant teens, the pregnancy of an unmarried daughter, the addiction of a son, the "lovers" affair of a husband or wife, divorce, or that economic reversal that totally alters life are just a few of the things that make a mockery of our priorities. These are just some of the things that transform the "essential" into the "ridiculously insignificant."

As the school year begins, prioritize with a godly, mature perspective. As you set each priority, consider that priority's message to your spouse and your children. Consider that priority's heart message to God. In your priorities, is the eternal supreme?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 12 September 1999

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