I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly ready for life to get back to “normal.” My last full day on campus at my old school in Wuhan, China, was on January 17th. Rumours were circulating the city about a potential virus that people were catching from animals at a wet market in a different district of the city. Naively, I remember not taking the rumours that seriously. The following ten days as the city was forced into lockdown and we left our apartment with hand luggage to board a British repatriation flight were some of the most turbulent of my life. Little did I know as I locked the door to our apartment that we would never return.
Somewhat ironically, I had written on my kitchen wall many years previously the passage from James 1:2 that states “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” I remember looking at the passage every morning in the midst of this very real trial and wondering how I could find joy in such a moment. A good friend of mine in a conversation this spring pointed out to me the importance of the word “consider” in this passage. It’s not necessarily an instantaneous action; sometimes, it requires time.
One of the things that excites me the most about joining the SCS community is the mission of “Educating for Wholeness”. This holistic approach of helping our students understand their role in God’s story is a journey and a process. There will be tough moments along the way. Acknowledging and processing those is a crucial skill as we all navigate God’s calling for our lives. C.S. Lewis once wrote that “Hardship often prepares ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” The key theme from both the passage in James and the quote above is the need to bridge the hardship to hope. James 1:3-4 states “You know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.”
My deep hope for this year as we recover collectively as a community is that this experience helps prepare our kids for an extraordinary destiny. COVID-19 has impacted all of us in some way or another, however, our experiences with it are very individual. For some, it will have been a wonderfully blessed time of homeschool and family; for others who may have experienced a job loss, known a victim of the virus, or have been key workers on the front line it will have been, and continues to be, an extremely tough season.
Jesus says in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
I pray as we head into September and look ahead to a new school year that God will provide you and your family rest and time to reflect on the last six months. How has COVID-19 impacted your story? What is your deep hope for this next season?
I look forward to meeting many of you soon.
Principal, Fleetwood Campus