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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

"And They're Off --"
Date Posted: August 21, 2004

Depending on the ages and temperaments of your children, the tears you cry when that school bell rings again may be from joy or sadness. Or they may just be a nostalgic mixture of memories, hopes and prayers.

Technology, politics and violence have transformed the school experience even since I was in school. Chalk has been replaced by more allergy-friendly dry erase markers. Computers may read more books to a child than the teacher.Complex security measures can make entering a grade school feel like trying to get through an international airport.

These things are not bad, just different. They are adaptations to the world we live in -- a world that insists we change or be left behind.

Jesus Christ also tells us we must change or be left behind. Jesus tells us in John 12:36, "Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am my servant also will be." In 1 Peter 3:11 we are reminded to "turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it."

There are many ways our lives can and should change to adapt to the world around us. But our hearts must remain pure, seeking the Lord. This is a difficult balancing act, and is only complicated by the demands of our daily lives.

With the school year comes an entire calendar full of activities: sports; scouting; fall church youth programs; dance lessons; piano lessons -- and more extra activities than we have time for.

But unless we carve out time for the Lord, for our own study and prayer time as parents and for family time and church fellowship, all those other activities become meaningless. We can't be at our best, much less a Christ-like example to others if we don't spend one-on-one time with the Lord.

So as the kids race to school this year and we race into that scary fall schedule, let's focus on the only race that counts -- the one that will end with a crown of righteousness because we have run toward God and set the pace and course for others to follow!

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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