September is a time of new beginnings and fresh starts. Little children starting Nursery School or Reception Class. Slightly older ones off to Secondary School. And some are secretly fretting about going to College and being away from home for the first time. Parents will be fretting just as much too.
Leaving all that is familiar and sailing out into the deep water is something we all do (have to do?) from time to time. Jesus called his Disciples to do just that – and they literally put down their nets right then and followed Him. Usually we have a bit of notice and time to prepare.
But the act of leaving home, going away, starting something new, ploughing our own furrow – whatever we choose to call it – is part of growing up, and becoming an adult. And it is scary. New home. New job. New community. New relationship. New expectations made of us. It takes time to settle down and to adjust. It can be hard work. Home-sickness is very real however tough and sorted we might try to appear.
We’ve heard lots in the news recently about mental health issues for young people. What can we do to help and support them as they go through this stressful experience? WhatsApp – must be compulsory for all relations - use it just to say you’re thinking of them. Letters may never be written by young people but they do enjoy receiving them. Food parcels – a home-made cake.
And, of course, prayer. Pray for those striking out into the unknown.