By Judy Brandon: CNJ columnist
Oh, the days of buying school supplies. This time of year it is hard not to notice those long store aisles of notebooks, paper, pencil boxes and backpacks.
When I was a child, there were certain preparation activities that surrounded the beginning of another school year. The whole process started by mother ordering our school shoes from Sears Roebuck in downtown Sears in Kansas City.
Orders she made by telephone would be ready by the time we got downtown about an hour later. We always ordered red tennis shoes and to this day, I will never forget the way those new ones smelled.
Next came new school supplies. Never did mother consider having us use the ones from the previous year.
Big Chief tablets were the thing of the day. We needed the wide ruled kind and during those early grade school years, they insisted that we buy the big fat pencil. We bought new crayons. In addition, the supply list specified a cigar box for our school supplies.
My daddy didn’t smoke cigars so we had no cigar boxes. Consequently he always went down to the drugstore and the man gave him two cigar boxes, one for me and one for Susie.
The promise of a new school year always brought the assurance to me that I had a chance for a fresh start.
Math was not my long point but with the new school year, I made a commitment to do my best. I could begin all over again in spelling and try for As all year on the spelling tests.
Everything I had to show for show-and-tell would be different. I could make salt maps again and they would be all new to the teacher. I could be diligent on my penmanship and hand in neatly written papers from the start. With new teachers, new classmates, a new room, new things to learn, new shoes and new school supplies, the guarantee of a new beginning was stimulating. I could put last year behind me and strive to do my best. That teacher didn’t look at what I did the year before. She was just interested in our relationship in her class and how I was doing in her class.
On a far greater scale is what Christ did for us.
Peter wrote in his book to Jews and Gentiles that with Christ they had a chance to start over. He wrote: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you.” (1 Peter 1:3-5). With Christ, life can begin all over again and again and we can receive a new chance at a meaningful life. When we accept Christ, our sins are forgiven, our past is forgotten and we are justified or made right with God. It is just as if we had never sinned.
The school year experience is vital for a child. But a relationship with Christ makes a difference not just for the school year.
Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: