As we come to the end of another school year, I find my mind full of many thoughts!
I have lots of snapshot images from the last fortnight - children singing songs of endings and beginnings, high schools taken over by visiting P7s, the mania and excitement of school shows, frantic packing (mingled with a bit of fear) for a school trip, a school thanksgiving service for a brilliant teacher and a good man, prizes handed out and certificates awarded, tears and smiles.
Along with all these memories is a strong sense of time passing - how did I get to the place of having children at the end of their school lives? It just seemed like yesterday I was buying Andrew's first school shorts (pause for some tears), and it's always a wee bit of a surprise when the bus doors open at Scoughall each July and young men and women come down the steps who were children the year before! The rapidity of growth between S1-6 is incredible, and sometimes adults struggle with the behaviour of young people in this age group and forget this may be a direct consequence of the growth process they are going through.
I'd like to encourage us to give young people some consideration in these formative years. None of us remember fully how tough it is to "grow up", it's difficult but fun too, if you want a wee bit of reminding listen to Bruce Springsteen's "Growing up", a brilliant song!
If we have the privilege of being with people this age over the summer, give them your support, care and time. Listen to them and create space for them to "grow up" (don't just shout that phrase at them, however tempting!) Organise events which are fun, safe, and memorable with lots of space to discover the God who knows exactly what it's like to "grow up"! Our teenagers need us!