"I took the kids to the store last week and loaded up on school supplies for the upcoming school year. We took in our list from the school and marked each item off one by one as our cart got fuller and fuller. The kids had fun picking out JUST the right folder or notebook, and even the four year old talked his way into a few items. A great time was had by all.
However, upon walking out the doors at the end of our adventure, I couldn't help but wonder, had I bought the right supplies? I mean, yes I had the list from the school but what if it was an old list? Or what if their teacher had her own list? What if they arrived in class on that first day of school ill-prepared? All the sudden, I wasn't thinking about paper and pencils anymore. The real question was no longer "Had I bought the right school supplies?" It was now, "Had I invested in my children the necessary equipment they would need to navigate the next school year?"
Did I spend too much time and money on their first day of school outfit and not enough on the "belt of truth" they are supposed to wear each day to school? What about a breastplate of righteousness? Do they even have one of those? Was I more concerned about fitting their feet "with the readiness of the gospel" or with what their new school shoes would look like? Where are they supposed to store the "shield of faith" they will use to "extinguish all the flaming arrows from the evil one"? Will it fit in their new backpack? Did I even show them how to use it?!?! I KNOW they have a "helmet of salvation"! They have to put it on before they can ride their bikes, right? But I'm not so sure about "the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God." Do they have that tool? Did I invest in one of those? I didn't see it on the school list, but I'm pretty sure they are going to need one!
How do you know if you got the right school supplies? All the sudden, the right pens and pencils don't seem to be so very important any more. This is the list I'm going to focus on for the little summer we have left. This is what my children will need in their backpacks when they walk into that classroom for the first time. This is what I want to invest in.
To view the complete list, check out Ephesians 6:10-18.
(I especially like the way the Message has these verses!)