For those impacted by the back-to-school rush this month, it is dizzying to say the least.

Sorting through the mountain of school supplies, finding just the right notebook binder — backpack — school shoes, replacing jeans that are now too short due to growing bodies, the list goes on. It is a highly anticipated, hectic time when families work to navigate the changes brought about by a blend of new and familiar faces in the school setting and the shift from summer to school schedule at home.

Add in the multitude of questions about safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic and it is any wonder we aren’t all spinning in every direction. Is there an answer to the swirl of the back-to-school season?

From Proverbs 8:1-12 New Revised Standard Version: 1/Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? 2/On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; 3/beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: 4/“To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. 5/ O simple ones, learn prudence: acquire intelligence, you who lack it. 6/ Hear, for I will speak noble things, and from my lips will come what is right; 7/for my mouth will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. 8/All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. 9/They are all straight to one who understands and right to those who find knowledge. 10/Take my instruction instead of silver, and knowledge rather than gold; 11/for wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her. 12/I, wisdom, live with prudence, and I attain knowledge and discretion.

From Elizabeth Webb on The Holy Trinity — The text opens with Wisdom calling out to all people from the places of human interaction and discourse. She calls from the centers of economic and juridical exchange (the “crossroads” and the “gates” in verses 2-3), as well as from the ordinary spaces of societal life (“On the height, beside the way” in verse 1). Wisdom cries out to “all that live” (verse 4), for the “simple” to receive instruction (verse 5), and for rulers to “govern rightly” (verse 16). Thus, Wisdom is a prophetess, a preacher, who stands amidst the people. She does not work quietly, behind the scenes, but she is to be the guiding force in all human affairs. As we hear Wisdom call for us, how often have we prayed for wisdom and knowledge for our precious children, our schools, and for our burdened community leaders? I add my prayer to yours, that all may be lifted up. Lord, May we learn prudence, the ability to weigh carefully each decision, so our children will see that good things take time. May we acquire intelligence, so those we love most will know there are times when silence is the better answer than a harsh opinion. May we attain knowledge, so those who are seeking may find their path to Truth. May we gain discretion, so our choices may serve to provide grace and mercy, and by doing so bring glory and honor to You, O God. May we answer the call from Wisdom to all that live and receive the instruction that is more precious than jewels. Let it be so!

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