When my first boy was born and we experienced that surreal moment of leaving the hospital to take that steady drive home as a family, I was quick to note that a manual didn’t come with the baby. In fact, there was very little in the way of training and equipping for the most important job in the world; caring for a little one. Like most us, all my wife Katie and I could do was rely on those we trusted to help us and draw on our own experiences to help us figure this whole parenting thing out. What could go wrong??!
If there was a manual, I would put in a request for a chapter titled ‘How to best instil in children an outward focus, selflessness and a sense of advocacy’. It’s not very catchy but you get my drift. We spend the first years treating our children like the centre of the universe only to try and teach them later that as people we are here to serve and help meet the needs of others. The life and example of Jesus appear to increasingly contrast core messages from the media. With commercials, movies, blogs and magazines focussing on the concept of looking after yourself as Number 1, it is increasingly difficult to instil in young people a mindset of looking after the needs of others, even at a personal cost to ourselves.
James 2:16-17 says ‘If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.’ One of our core values at PCS is advocacy. As a school community, we believe that helping others in tangible ways is not just an opportunity to feel good about ourselves, but rather a core value that helps us answer the call of God on each of our lives. We don’t have to be involved in official ministry to be outworking God’s plan for our lives. For most of us, that simply comes by taking opportunities to get alongside those who need a hand; clothes, shelter, finances, a kind word or something as simple as a smile.
As a community at PCS, we encourage all our students and families to support various causes. This term we are raising money for Life Education via the Healthy Harold Swim Relay, Currajong Disabilities via the Moomba Birdman Rally and Compassion via the Pop Up Op-Shop and weekly ice block sales.
When we see students stretching themselves to participate in various initiatives such as these, we are helping establish in them a sense of advocacy. We desire our students to speak up for those who can’t speak up for themselves and to support those financially who are out doing the hard yards with the lonely, disadvantaged or needy in our communities. Through this we are in a very real sense doing the work of Jesus, putting others needs before our own and making a positive impact in the world. It seems so simple, but it all helps establish core values in our students that will see them leave this place and continue to make a positive impact on this world. That is what I desire for my own children and I’m sure what you desire for yours.
Have a great week everyone, Glen