In essays written by Timothy Garton Ash he calls the time period since the turn of this millennium ‘no name’. It began with an extreme act of violence and has continued with many economic and moral failures. Through things such as the rise of social media and virtual reality, there has been a loss of meaning and purpose that has hollowed out life. Yet our young people long for connection, watch movies and listen to music which is filled with romantic longings and they yearn to know their identity in a world “without windows.” (Derek Kidner). King Solomon cried out “vanity of vanities . . . all is meaningless under the sun” when one lives as if God doesn’t exist.

Does life just come down to random chance and choice? Yet Solomon reminds us that there is a God who is the Sovereign Creator and His presence makes all the difference. Meaningless is confronted with His glory – weightiness is restored.

During the holidays, I watched with my grandchildren, CS Lewis’ story “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” When the children Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy travel to Narnia, they learn to think and see things differently about the existential questions common to all the ages. They learn what is real and lasting and they learn their true identity.  In their amazing adventure to Narnia, they left what is familiar and grappled with these questions in a new way.

A Christian school at its best engenders hope and embodies the way of Jesus. It helps students to see things differently and provide a place where they can learn to trust God. God’s Word says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3: 4, 5)

The journey through childhood to adolescence is filled with many crooked paths where they can lose their way and feel lost. In the Shalom community, we are to teach our children for tears and help make their direction straight through struggle. Joni Eareckson, who was left a quadriplegic at 17 years of age, says ‘when we learn to lean back into God’s sovereignty, fixing and settling our thoughts on that unshakeable, unmovable reality, we can experience inner peace. Our trouble may not change, our pain may not diminish, our loss may not be restored, our problems may not fade with the new dawn. But the power of those things to harm us is broken as we rest in the fact that God is in control.” [1]

The question to us as teachers is how do we individually and together engender hope in the lives of our children as they journey through school. How does our life together as a school community embody what it means to trust Christ and walk in the way of wisdom? Does our community embody wisdom from heaven that is “pure, peace-loving, considerate, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere” (James 3: 17) and reflects the very nature of God. So we end these talks where we began “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”. (Proverbs 9:10)

Let us seek the One who is all wise and walk in His Word, empowered by His Spirit. For we walk in the truth that “History, in all its details, even the most minute, is the unfolding of the eternal purposes of God … all parts of one all–comprehending plan.” [2]

Grace and Peace

The Team

The Excellence Centre

[1] J Eareckson. Book title unknown.

[2] L Boettner, “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination” S Larsen ed