Trial exams have come and gone, and Year 12 have 2 weeks left – can you believe it!
I am sure you can remember back to the days when you were finishing school (it may require more mental strain for some than others!). I remember being overrun with the excitement of the impending ‘new normal’; the overwhelming desire to be finished and seize freedom; the uncertainty of what the future may hold; and the paralysing pressure of finishing well. The array of emotions made it a very difficult time for all those involved, families, friends and teachers!
The older I get though, the more I question, do things ever really change? Are the times we live in now actually that different? Are we dealing with the same concepts, just with a change in stressors and degrees of responsibility? Was Solomon right when he said, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1) so many years ago?
Everyone I speak with this year is finding the ‘new normal’ very difficult. We are all having to give up certain things: jobs, relationships, physical contact, aspirations, creature comforts, the list goes on…
I know our Year 12’s final year has been incredibly different to what they desired and thought.
As Christians, I believe it is at such a time as this that we reflect God’s thoughts and ways into our community to give others peace, hope and purpose.
I am convinced that God’s community is one that seeks to honour God in the way we treat ourselves and others. It looks out for each other in the hard and easier times, individuals seek to go beyond themselves to make sure that others are okay, that others have enough. If we are able to do this, then we start to make a significant difference in a western world that is often defined by a market-place-consumerism that focuses on what I need and how I get it now.
At a time of great uncertainty or disappointment it is hard to do this, to step into other’s shoes and think of life from their point of view. This is why just after Paul writes to the Galatians about living gracefully and not abusing the freedom and privilege we have in Christ, he edifies and encourages them to not use this as an excuse to give up on doing good things for others, but rather as the reason to do it all the more (Galatians 5 & 6).
Jesus says that society will know we follow Him by the love we have for one another (John 13). Hence, it is paramount that in uncertain times, when things are not going our way, that we listen to this advice and love like Jesus loved. We need to listen first and seek first to understand, seek first to forgive, and seek first to love rather than demand these things from others who are struggling with the new normal like we are.
It is hard though, which is why Christian education stands out from the rest. Christian education does not shy away from doing the hard, counter cultural things for the world.
In the midst of the uncertainty and disruption RCC will continue to educate to create contributors and not consumers. We will continue to create academically rigorous opportunities for students see what it means to be faithfully present in their world and make a difference to it. We will continue to use God’s truth to equip students with identity, hope and purpose beyond what the world offers.
We do this because we believe it will enable our students to handle the seemingly endless recurrence of the ‘new normal’. Not because it makes it easier for our Year 12s, but because, just like when we were kids, we want our students to flourish in the blessings that this life has to offer.