As a parent, I think one of the scariest times of the school year is that first conference with the teacher. And one of the most upsetting phrases to hear is something like, “We’re having some problems with your child.”

In other words, that bright-eyed son or daughter—who asserted with incredible gusto that everything was going well and that the first few weeks of school were a success—is off to a terrible start.

Fortunately, many a student gets back on track after that first conference once he or she recognizes the problem—with the help of the parents—and begins to take school more seriously.

Spiritually, all of us can benefit from a new start. Sometimes we become poor students and get lax in our commitment to follow the Lord. We get sidetracked by the enticing attractions of the world. We fail to do our homework of prayer and reading God’s Word. We see our friends doing something that looks like fun, and we join them—only to discover that what they are doing is destructive. That’s when we need to stop and recommit ourselves to living for Jesus wholeheartedly.

Off to a bad start? There’s still time to get back on the right course.