When your kids are grown, “Back to School” can sneak up on you. Yesterday I was reminded that the new school year with all its responsibilities and opportunities has arrived.

PotentialIn a sweet and profound time of worship, our congregation prayed over the kids and their backpacks. We asked God to calm nerves and to help students concentrate. We prayed for safety and growth and that each student would be aware of the presence of God. We prayed for teachers and staff and all those who will interact with children and youth throughout the week.

Soon notebooks will be filled with spelling words. Math homework will need to be done. But right now it’s all about the potential.

With the exception of teachers, most adults don’t really think about new until January. Even then our idea of beginning usually means we’re tackling something we already know we are supposed to do. Lose weight. Organize the garage. Get a morning routine. We may resolve to do something more efficiently or consistently, but very few of us dream about what might unfold in our lives — the potential inside of us or the opportunities that await.

See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness

and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

God sent the prophet Isaiah to call the children of Israel back to worship and obedience. But he was also to deliver a message of hope. There would be a day when a new Kingdom would be established, a time when God would bring his redemptive work to a climax in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Life would be renewed because the Holy Spirit would be unleashed in all those who trusted King Jesus.

  • New life.
  • New potential.
  • New faithfulness to God’s commands.

Life brims with Kingdom opportunities. There’s a relationship to develop, a meal to share, a book to write, a child to take fishing, a ministry to begin. There’s a class to teach, a cake to bake, an idea to develop, a God-given dream to pursue.

Isaiah called on God’s people to open their eyes and understand God’s plan for the world.

In order to recognize opportunity you must choose to shift your focus. Look away from past mistakes and daily obstacles. God will weave the tender places in your heart and the limitations of your schedule into the new thing he calls you to do.

Ask God to give you eyes to see where he is working. Ask God to fuel your passion, fire your imagination, and lead you to embrace the opportunity he will place in your path. You’ll have to give up control because you won’t know where God will take you. As you move into new, you won’t fully realize the potential of what lies ahead and you certainly won’t be able to guarantee the outcome.

Like a kindergarten student entering a classroom for the first time, you step into a world that feels alive with opportunity. Whisper a prayer, place your trust in the One who opens the door, and know that the Spirit will provide the power when you choose to pursue the new.



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