The Next Big Thing
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. John Lennon
What’s the next big thing for you and your family? A new baby, new job, family holiday, bathroom renovation, backyard blitz, relocation?
In the lives of children, a momentus ‘next big thing’ at the end of a calendar year is the transition to a new year level. For some this entails moving to a new room or building with both new and familiar faces. For others it means graduating to an entirely new campus or site where new friendships will be formed.
Parents frequently ask me, ‘What can I do to prepare my child for Prep / Year x / secondary school?’ Truthfully, most of the time I respond with, ‘Nothing. Do nothing.’ You see, we often invest so much energy preparing for the next big thing that we forget to live in today. Embracing today and squeezing every good thing from it, prepares us for the next big thing.
I spent time in a kindergarten in the Adelaide Hills during the last term break and came across a sign that read, ‘The best way to let a child be 5, is to let him or her be 4 for a whole year.’ I immediately recognised that this would become my new answer to that question about preparing children for the next big thing. It’s so much more succinct than my normal explanation.
When we try too hard to prepare for the next big thing, we pour unnecessary emotional energy into worrying about the future instead of living in the moment; anxiety sets in and we become focussed on doing instead of being. It’s both humbling and relieving to be reminded that God created us as human beings, not human doings.
Tomorrow’s next big thing will happen regardless of whether we worry about it or not. Trusting in the now and resting peacefully in the knowledge that God walks before us into the next big thing, is the most powerful strategy we can employ not only for ourselves, but also for our children. If we want it, there is joy and excitement in unearthing and discovering the next big thing when its time comes, rather than dwelling on it today.
What is the best thing we can do to prepare our children for the next big thing? Live in today and trust God for tomorrow.
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:34 (The Message)
- Jane Mueller, Principal