The summer is now coming to an end, and whether you live by the school calendar or not, the arrival of September usually brings a change of pace. Even the hottest days turn cool relatively early in the evening, the fruit-picking season is coming to an end, and it is time to start getting the gardens ready for next year.
For those who are still at school or university, it is a time of change, of finding your place at a new school, or adjusting to being a year older. It may be a year with important exams looming. Or maybe it is the first year with no school or university to go back to, of discovering the joys and pressures of independence.
A new year is full of new challenges and new opportunities. It is a time to start again, with a blank sheet. But for some of the youngsters (and "not so young" -sters) in our villages, it can be a scary time as they face the unknown. Let's keep them in our prayers; we've all been there. And maybe as you clear out the greenhouse, or dig up the potatoes, ready to start a new round of vegetables and flowers, you can spare a prayer for those working hard to ensure our children and young people flourish this year.
And for those of you who are a little nervous about what lies ahead, remember that you are not on your own: you've got family and friends, you've got your teachers, and you can even hand your worries to God, because Jesus promised that everyone who has problems can come to him, and he'll find a way to lighten the burden.
Here's a prayer that you might like to say as you go to bed.
Loving God, thank you for all my friends, and my teachers/carers.
Thank you that I have the chance to learn new things every day.
Please bless everyone at school/nursery, and please bless me too.·
Help me to know that all day long, whether I'm having fun
or whether I'm feeling upset, you're there for me. Amen
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