Yesterday, as I have for every first day of elementary school, I took my daughter out for a special morning. We laughed and reminisced about the summer while eating our favorite donuts. Soon, it was time to head to school. As I parked my car, time seemed to stand still. “Is my daughter really about to start 3rd grade?” I thought to myself? Where did the time go? As we headed to the school playground, we entered a sea of students – not to mention lots of parents taking those all-important first day of school photos that would soon adorn Facebook. My daughter found her friends, but first gave me a hug and with a giant smile said, “See you after school, Dad!” And that was it. What happened to the days when she wouldn’t let go of my leg as I attempted to leave the classroom? Long gone, I realized.

As I returned to my car, and before returning to the radio station, I realized the need to pause and pray … Lord, please protect my daughter. Help direct her path and keep her safe from harm. Please provide friends that will uplift and encourage her, and share with her insights that will make her a better person. Please give her ears to hear, eyes to see and hands and feet to act. And please inspire a boldness in my daughter to be a light for You and make the tough decisions especially when it’s not popular.

May this prayer not be just for my daughter, but for the thousands of children starting a new school year. And lest we not forget about praying for all the teachers that had spent the summer preparing for the next nine months – and for the unsung heroes – the secretaries, custodians and school nurses. May God bless this school year!

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