These little guys are crazy! If you live in Lakeland, surely you’ve seen the flocks of small birds fully engaged in aerobatic maneuvers around Lake Hollingsworth, and other bodies of water. If you’re reading this from out of town, just imagine a 2013 re-make of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, The Birds. Well, okay, the scene in Lakeland isn’t quite that spooky; nor are the birds attacking people as in the movie. But these skillful, speedy flyers are amazing to watch. In impressive numbers, they glide, swoop, turn, bank and dart along the shoreline. Lakeside walkers get to experience these acrobatic creatures up close and personal.
These Are No Angry Birds!
This aerial performance is not just a show – it’s an essential part of the bird’s existence. You see, they are swallows – insectivores -- that feed on flying insects. So, their wild series of in-flight tactics are actually the way they gather food. Around Lake Hollingsworth they, surely, are feasting on massive numbers of those pesky blind mosquitoes (thank goodness!). However, as they soar to and fro, they take in whatever indiscriminate insects happen to be in their path – beetles, flies, dragonflies, moths, bees, crickets. They’re flying way too fast to be selective.
Their seemingly random behavior reminds me of my own heart, if I’m not carefully on guard. And how about you? Aren’t we all apt to flit around and consume anything that might be “flying” by?
The same is certainly true for the young lives we touch here at Lakeland Christian. If adults struggle, you can imagine all the temptations presented to children and young people each day. These “opportunities” come through media saturation, digital engagement, social pressures and through a host of other sources – and, of course, at the lightspeed of today’s life.
Students, like adults, are easily drawn to the created, rather than to the creator.
Backyard Birds Benefit Bountifully
That’s why LCS knows the eternal worth of presenting the truth an as integral part of schooling. Back to the avian analogy, it’s like the food birds find in my backyard feeder, which is in stark contrast to the diet of the high-speed swallow. My feeder’s buffet offering is fortified, balanced, nourishing, and just what the birds need to grow and thrive as healthy creatures. And it’s an intentional diet, rather than the plucking of random insects out of thin air.
Likewise, such is the value of an Education in the Light of God’s Word.
Although the LCS mission is intentional – to equip children and young people for a lifetime of learning, leadership, service and worship – we recognize that we’re up against stiff competition for their hearts and minds. However, as the scriptures are integrated through curriculum and into all that transpires on campus, we are confident that God will honor this weighty effort by raising up a generation who will love and serve Christ with all their hearts.
Leaving The Nest With Confidence
As these children grow and develop into young adults who finally walk across a stage to receive an LCS diploma, they step onto a much larger and more critical stage – that of college and beyond. And what a blessing! Through the daily nurturing and influence of Christian teachers, students are equipped and encouraged to consider the intentional diet of God’s Word over the pursuit of so many other things (and much of it good stuff!) begging for attention.
What a high privilege to invest my money, my energy and my passion in a place like Lakeland Christian School for the eternal benefit of my own three children, now 20-somethings. Even at times through the years when LCS tuition may have seemed “unaffordable,” I knew that we couldn’t afford not to have our kids in Christian schooling, regardless of the price. Their hearts and minds – indeed their very souls – were at stake. What a blessing the steady, nutritious, balanced LCS “diet” continues to be to our family, and especially as they begin to raise their own baby chicks.
May we all chase after the eternal things of the Lord rather than the tempting ways of the world!
Mr. Steve Wilson is the Director of Advancement at Lakeland Christian School. To reach Steve, you may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of Paul Brentnall / FreeDigitalPhotos.net