It is always exciting to start a new year. New beginnings bring fresh starts. New books and resources. New faces. New challenges.
It is also vital that we are diligent in keeping the long view in sight even in a time of new beginnings. We want our students to learn how to work hard and embrace the challenging, life-giving opportunities of a classical Christian education.
So what are things we want to keep in the long view of training and guiding our children? We want our children to become adults of high integrity and Godly character, faithful, wise, mature, resilient, and tough. We want our students to understand who God is and what it means to be human. We are working to develop spiritual and cultural leaders.
The process starts at an early age. The habits of excellence are being cultivated early on in our preschool classes and continue all the way up through to our seniors. This training is not easy for us as parents and as a school. There will be times when we will want to make excuses for our students. We will want to smooth the path for them by eliminating the challenges and obstacles they will face. We have to be okay to let our students fail because often times it is through failure, we grow. Sometimes our students need to hear “That is not good enough.” We have to let our students do hard things.
Everyone knows that we have had to walk through some hard things in Bay County in the last two years. We walk through the challenges here, and as we walk through the challenges of raising children and training students, we are reminded that God walks with us in the hard times-another great lesson that we can help our students embrace for the long view.
We see it as our students read the Great Books. One of the best examples is in C.S. Lewis’s The Horse and His Boy. Shasta, Aravis, and Brie encounter lions chasing them as they were traveling. Shasta will eventually meet the Lions, Aslan, who fills Christ’s role in the Narnia Chronicles. Shasta will learn from Aslan that there was only one lion chasing them, and it was, in fact, Aslan. He was with them even when it felt like he was against them.
Another example would be in John Bunyan’s classic, Pilgrim’s Progress. A book that our 9th and 10th graders are currently reading. In the book, the Lord guides Christian along the path to the Celestial City. The path is not easy. People betray and abandon Christian throughout the journey. God sends others to encourage and guide him. God is always watching over him until he finally reaches the destination.
Troubles will come, but be comforted. We serve a God who has placed us in this time and place. He has given us this opportunity with our children and our students. The Lord is preparing us to face these challenges with courage, faith, and wisdom knowing that God has provided for His people in the past and He will provide for us.
As we enjoy the new beginnings and walk through this journey, let’s keep the long view in mind.