The campus came alive on Tuesday as excited parents and students returned to campus for orientation day. This annual “pre-game ritual” provides the excitement of seeing old friends, meeting new people and the “buzz” that is school, without the work. What’s not to like about that!
Been There, Done That...
The school year has certain sameness about it. We know the drill. Orientation day, first day of class with the seemingly endless presentations of course syllabi for secondary students and rehearsal of routines for the elementary bunch, the early school year traffic snarls at drop-off and pick-up, and the first car line interrogation by moms asking, “How was your day?” It’s all too familiar to us.
However, we also know that the sameness is punctuated by the unpredictable. We know there will be games, but we don’t know how we’ll play, who will win. Will there be injuries? Will we feel the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat? We know there will be assignments, some of which we will understand and some will mystify. There will be wonderful performances and possibly some bitter disappointments. Will we have an acceptable group to eat lunch with everyday, or feel a little displaced? Who will know the joy of the birth of new sibling, and who will lose a loved one? Will I feel more “boo-hoo” or “ya-hoo” when I drop my child off on that first day?
The categories of events are somewhat predictable. But the details of the who and the what provide the mystery. It’s a little like someone handing you a list of the letters of the alphabet and telling you it’s the ingredients for the great American novel…some assembly required, batteries not included! The year will be filled with a plethora of experiences. Like a delicious cake, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The key is to focus on the big picture, the vision for the outcome, while the assembling takes place and the heat is turned up.
A Lesson from Joshua
The book of Joshua is a story of new beginnings. God’s people were moving in to possess a new land. The instructions given by God for the crossing of the Jordan River included the directive to place the Ark of the Covenant, the visible sign of God’s presence, in front of the people as they crossed the river to enter the Promised Land. The priests carrying the ark stopped in the middle of the river bed and the column of Hebrews separated on each side of the ark as they crossed. They were to maintain a buffer of approximately 800 yards around it so that the ark would remain in clear view of all the people as they crossed. The people were told to keep their eyes on the Lord, “because you have not passed this way before.” (Joshua 3:4)
Prior to moving into the land the Lord told His people to be strong and courageous, keep their focus on the Book, and be careful to do what it said. His instruction concluded with the promise, “…do not be dismayed, for God is with you wherever you may go.” (Joshua 1:7-9)
They had a lot of experience walking- forty years of walking around in the wilderness! But they had never gone on a “walk” like this one before. The key to their success was:
- keeping their eyes on the Lord,
- meditating on the Book,
- obeying its precepts
- finding encouragement in God’s presence.
We’ve had a lot of prior experience with school years, but there is a sense in which we’ve never passed this way before. I’d suggest that practicing the patterns suggested above will enable us to have a successful journey together this year.
We’re delighted to share the “walk” with you! Welcome back!
Dr. Mike Sligh, Headmaster, has served at LCS for more than 40 years. To contact Dr. Sligh, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net