The leadership team has a couple of meetings tomorrow (one internal and one a webinar with the SCSBC). As well, there is a Board meeting tomorrow night. Prayer for wisdom and discernment is appreciated.
We live in unprecedented times. Part of me wants to give the “we will never surrender” speech emblematic of the darkest hours of Britain’s resistance during World War 2. That approach seems to be the model of leadership that the secular world around us often celebrates. Being in control and certain.
I’d rather, though, reflect on the difference between optimism and hope. Optimism can be founded on evidence or it can be without foundation. To be honest bombarded by negative news, I find it hard to be optimistic. Frankly, it’s wearing when confronted with non-stop Covid news.
To try and sound optimistic in the face of negative news, strikes me as spin. It would be to seek to put on a positive face and somehow say that tough news is really good.
As a Christian, though, I feel I’m called not to optimism – but to something more profound – hope.
Hope isn’t founded in the circumstances that surround us, it is founded in the promises of God.
When I first decided to come to PCS, I asked what the leadership team was reading. One of our team mentioned Walter Bruggemann (a well know Old Testament Scholar) and to foster connection, I read several of his books including “The Prophetic Imagination”. As I unpacked this reading with a friend he shared a Brueggemann quote that speaks, I think, directly to the circumstances we find ourselves in:
“Hope reminds us that the way things are (and all extrapolations from that), is precarious and in jeopardy. Hope reminds us not to absolutize the present, not to take it too seriously, not to treat it too honorably, because it will not last”.
And I guess that’s what I’d like to do in this circumstance. Not to stand in the face of difficulty and yell “we will never surrender”, but to instead proclaim that this will not last. That God is fully in control and that despite the ‘evidence’ of the moment I proclaim this truth of God’s sovereignty more fully today than I did yesterday.
This may seem trite and even in saying it, I feel the uncertainty of the moment. I know how hard this is; yet we journey in this together. We support each other. Yesterday a parent asked me to support them to reach out to our community in the midst of this journey and to offer tangible signs of hope. In my anxiety over the moment, I thought “one more thing!”. Today as I walked for a break in the sunshine I pondered the story of the Good Samaritan and thought how had I been in the story I would have been a distracted person who looked the other way as they ruminated on their own troubles and walked past the victim. Amongst the most compelling stories of faith I have heard are of various people who sacrificed for the sake of others in the midst of their own sometimes deeper struggle. It seemed that seeing the other and stopping to help in the midst is our calling – even in the distraction of our own concerns.
These are hard times; but I believe we are called to hope. The strength of our community is a testament to the truth of the Gospel. I can’t say this will be easy; but I can say we journey together.
I look forward to providing some updates over the next couple days.
Pacific Christian School
654 Agnes St, Victoria, BC V8Z 2E6
(250) 479-4532 ext 128