The lyrics of EU alum Sara Groves’ song Help Me Be New have been playing over and over in my head as I prepare for the upcoming semester. As I watch Facebook and Twitter posts about kids heading back to school, as I get my own two children ready for their first day, and as I gear up to head back to teaching my courses … I can’t help but feel so thankful that every school year is a reminder to let God help us be new. Each fall we all have an opportunity to start over, to set new goals, to trust God in bigger ways.

God is doing a work in me
He’s walking through my rooms and halls
Checking every corner
Tearing down the unsafe walls
And letting in the light

I am working hard
To clean my house and set it straight
To not let pride get in the way
To catch an eternal vision of
What I am to become …

For our new students coming to Evangel’s lovely campus this fall, I think of the care taken to move into the dorms. All of the errands to Target and WalMart for “dorm stuff”… all of the new packages to open … the furniture to arrange … the clothes to carry up flights of stairs. Everyone is working together to get everything carefully put into place. Everything is organized. Everything is ready to go! But, are we ready to go? 

This song reminds me that we should take the same care and concern with preparing ourselves for a new school year by making sure our hearts are ready for what God has for us. By allowing God to inspect every part of our hearts…every part of our being…so that we are ready, not only to learn in our classes, but to grow in Him, to listen to His voice, to extend His love to those around us. This fall God will put each of us in close proximity to people we have never known before. We can be ready to impact those people for the glory of God by preparing ourselves much in the same way we prepare our stuff for a new school year.

My prayer is that God will help me be new as I prepare for this new school year. Sara’s song includes a challenge for us all:

But you know me well
And it’s you I want the most to see
And recognize the changes
A word from you empowers me
To press on for my goal

When I feel condemned to live my old life
Remind me I’ve been given a new life in Christ

Embrace this new school year as your opportunity to be new in Christ! As you arrange, clean, and organize…let God arrange, clean, and organize your heart. See the vision He has for you this school year!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. — 2 Corinthians 5:17

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. — Psalm 51:10