Back to school with God

This year in particular, teachers, parents, and students have been puzzling over creating schedules that accommodate all parties’ needs. Whatever the situation may be, realizing that God, good, is here to guide each of us brings about fresh inspiration for progress.

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For many parents, school and scheduling decisions have been especially puzzling during the pandemic. Home schooling, in-school instruction, online learning, a mix – these days it’s as if parents simply looking to educate their children need a plan A, B, and C.

It reminds me of one year when my daughter was in high school. She had to plan a schedule that accommodated the classes she needed to take, including college prerequisites, and athletic activities. She came to me for parental advice, but I had no answers. As I looked at the options, there did not seem to be a way to make everything fit.

However, I felt sure that even in moments of uncertainty we can turn to God, the divine Principle of all creation, as a reliable help. God has a plan for all of us – not a schedule, per se, but a promise of goodness. As the Bible explains, God created everything “very good” (Genesis 1:31).

My daughter and I talked about some ideas she’d learned as a Christian Science Sunday School student and that we’d both found inspiring from studying the Bible and the textbook of Christian Science, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy. For instance, the First Commandment affirms the authority of one God (see Exodus 20:3), who is good. This God, who is universal Love, is the divine Father-Mother of all of us.

In the New Testament Jesus assured us that turning to this heavenly Parent is wise, and demonstrated that doing so brings healing and solutions. He said, “Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him” (Matthew 6:8). When he taught and healed, Jesus humbly followed his loving Father’s direction. He let God’s limitless goodness and intelligence – which God expresses in all His children – animate him, rather than relying on a personal, material mind or willpower to make decisions or help others.

Jesus explained, “The Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing” (John 5:19, 20, New Revised Standard Version). Jesus’ many healing works showed that he understood the nature of God as all-loving, all-knowing, and an ever-present help in any situation or challenge.

Jesus’ relation to God was unique, but each of us can experience how recognizing God’s great love for everyone leads to good outcomes, too – including in the minutiae of our everyday lives.

Inspired and revitalized by these ideas, my daughter and I continued working to come up with a plan for her coursework that year. We spent hours designing various strategies for her schedule, using nearly every colored marker we had to organize them, but none of the possibilities seemed to cover everything that was needed.

The next day she went to school with her multicolored planning document. When she got back home, I couldn’t wait to ask which plan she and the school’s academic counselor had chosen. She said, “None of them,” and explained that they had come up with a completely different plan, and it was perfect!

We both laughed, realizing that God always has the best plan. As grateful as we were for the way the schedule had worked out, the real lesson was learning more about divine Love, or “Deity, which outlines but is not outlined” (Science and Health, p. 591). As a parent I also learned a higher truth that God, divine Principle and Love, is the only perfect Parent, and this Parent cares for every one of us.

As students, educators, parents, and guardians go forward this school year, all can discover how embracing divine Principle’s loving plan paves the way for harmony and solutions to emerge that support all involved.

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