The picture below is a picture of a throng of parents and their children who have come to the Oxford University open day or induction day or something along those lines. The train is filled with these proud parents and their children who are walking on sunshine. The one student I sat next to, spent the train journey rehearsing what she told them (Oxford Unversity) at the interview and her Mum kept asking if she reminded them of all the books she read to prepare.
I am watching, looking at exciting faces as they prepare to visit the site of their prestigious Universities. I see all races of people walking, talking, laughing and joking, as they queued to leave the station. White, Chinese and other races have their parents with them. Black students I notice, are either by themselves or with a friend. I cannot help but giggle. This is familiar. When I started Uni, I remember standing by myself as I watched other students and their parents, queueing, asking questions. Reminding their children to reduce the volume, stand properly, shut up and a whole load of other dramas. I remember looking around, looking for a lone student, someone I could tag team with. My parents were AWOL. My Mum was working. My Dad was not in the country. I could handle it. Shebi, I got in? I am an adult for this part of my life…just not in others…until I graduated. I could come to the University myself. I knew where it was and ad all the relevant documents with me. I was going to be just fine.
Still, I could not help but feel a tad envious but then, I think, what would my parents have come to do that I could not tell them about after the fact anyway? I could take pictures and even videos. They did not NEED to be there. Yet, it would have been nice to be accompanied. My parents did not visit my University until I graduated. My Dad still has not. He paid fees and gave me all I needed at University. His role, as far as he was concerned was done.
Before I boarded the train, I bumped into my Aunty who works in Paddington station and she excitedly showed me my little cousin’s graduation picture. She graduated from Cambridge last week and the whole family went with her. My Aunty said, she had to take time off to make sure she went with her. I smiled. I remembered another such encounter when my Aunty was telling me that she took time off work to go with her to her new University. I smiled. My little cousin got the full experience.
Why am I sharing all of this?
Here is why…
When we begin a new journey, it is always helpful to know that you are not on your own. It is useful to know that there is someone else who can double check, triple check even. Hold your hand and help you take a picture if required. While I admit that not every one has their parents with them due to departure, death, illness or something else, for those that do, it is helpful to know that they are with you. Supporting you, cheering you on – in person. Present. There. Especially when you are about to undertake a new adventure and or journey.
One thing I love about God is that as our Father, He IS ever present. He is always there. In the person of the Holy Spirit. He is supporting, enabling and covering you. He said it Himself,
“So be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
Our earthly parents do the best they know to do. My parents certainly did. These parents I saw today are doing the best they know to do but as humans, sometimes, their best is wonderful. Sometimes, their best is simply not enough. Thankfully, our Heavenly Father’s average is better than the best.
He is always there. Always ready to cover and protect. Always happy to provide, heal and deliver. God tells us that His steadfast love never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23).
Which means that every day is brand new. Every day is a new adventure. Every day is a new journey and every day, He is ever present. Always right there with us. Never leaving, or working, or travelling or busy. Always there. Consistently waiting, covering, healing, delivwring. Being a Father and a friend.
You are not alone. You are never alone.
To those who are about to start a new adventure, a new beginning, what ever that new beginning is, be it University, a new job, marriage, whatever it is. Remember, you are never alone.
Love and Blessings,