Clean Stall vs Productivity

Shiny hallway floors are not the goal…

The shiny hallway floor glistened beneath my feet as I walked on the third floor in late July. The fresh paint on the walls was pristine. The whole scene was peaceful, waiting to come alive in a few days.

I was reminded of Proverbs 14:4. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” This agricultural metaphor resonates with those who have had to clean out stalls. You need the animals for the farm to be productive, but there is a price to pay that accompanies the presence of farm animals. It’s messy, involves a shovel, and it usually stinks!

Museum or mess?

If the goal of our campus were to be a museum, the ideal would be the quiet and pristine scene described above. It would be like the idyllic “Home on the range” where “never is heard a discouraging word.” But our focus lies elsewhere. LCS is intended to be an enterprise setting that can be messy, and sometimes it stinks! 

The LCS campus is dedicated to educating students in the light of God’s Word. Even a cursory reading of the Bible reveals that God’s work in the lives of His people is often messy. Redeeming and sanctifying a people for Himself involved a gruesome, messy scene at the cross on Calvary followed by glorious resurrection and the hope of consummation when all will be made new.

In the meantime, we struggle with sin, unmet expectations, differing personalities, and the need to delay gratification and bear with one another on the journey before us. Getting along as different but complementary members of the body of Christ, different aged folks at varying stages of maturity from adolescence to mid-life and beyond is all part of the messiness required for productivity. It is a worn-out phrase but still true; we are all in this together. And that’s a good thing.

Perspectives for the new year

So, as we begin this new year, let’s not fret too much about the scuffed-up floor, the scrapes that will mar the walls, and the volume of the high-pitched children’s voices filling the hallways. Let’s resolve not to be easily offended, to extend kindness to one another, and to strive by God’s grace to pursue our stated values of Christ-centered community, wisdom through learning, and spiritual cultivation.

We have all chosen to join in this worthy but sometimes messy enterprise that can have eternal ramifications for the souls of our children. The raising and educating of the next generation are not pursuits for the faint of heart! Our lofty goals and aspirations will likely not be fully realized in this life. Perhaps some of those will be revised as our year unfolds and new concerns emerge. But let’s press on together, undaunted by the fact that from time-to-time things may get messy and stink a little bit!

We’ll try to keep things as clean as we can, apologize and repent as necessary, ask the Lord to redeem our messes, and look forward to a year of productive growth.

Here we go. Have a great school year!

Mike Sligh, Ed. D. Head of School