Moments and Milestones

This week I had the best time being on Kindergarten’s very first excursion! The weather was perfect as we all jumped on the PCS bus and headed to Dubbo for a day at the zoo. It was very cool to see all the eager young faces taking in their first proper experience of being away from school for the day. It was as though the animals themselves knew the significance of the occasion as they put on a real show for the students. Fancy seeing the tiger actually standing up, or the cheetah pacing along the fence; perhaps eying off a Kindy sized snack! Whatever it was, the students were treated to some great animal displays, and I hope in the future they look back with fondness at this particular milestone. I know I will! 

I don’t know about you, but it’s often life’s milestones that sparks some personal reflection. This week alone, not only did I see Kindy have their first excursion, but I had friends welcome a new baby and another turn the big 50 and sadly watch other friends have to say goodbye to a loved one. Each key milestone holds significance, and if our lives were to be written into a book, these moments would form the chapters. Childhood, school, birthdays, relationships, careers, big purchases, loss, grief and maybe even adventures would all feature heavily for most of us. And as interesting as it would be to turn those pages, I do often wonder what my summary statement might be; could I answer the question of what was the meaning of it all. 

You may be thinking questions like this are far too big for a school newsletter, and particularly on a final day of school before a holiday, and you may be right, however I’m sure all of us grapple with that very question from time to time, me included! Someone who liked to ask that same question was King Solomon himself, the wisest man who has ever lived! His life and story has featured in conversations with staff, students and friends this week, particularly the Book of Ecclesiastes, with Solomon’s enduring question being, what is the meaning of it all?! 

God’s famous gift to Solomon was wisdom, resulting in his fame and reputation spreading far and wide. His influence, power and wealth was unrivaled, yet Solomon himself, the wisest man on Earth still struggled to identify the meaning of life. Ecclesiastes outlines the emotional journey of Solomon’s thoughts as he considers power, women, wealth, leadership, love and spirituality and where his purpose for living fits in it all. Like all good books, Solomon ends with his famous summary statement, Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. Ecclesiastes 12:13

I acknowledge that there is so much more to Ecclesiastes than my simple newsletter summary, however my point is this; milestones and moments make up the chapters of our lives, but each of us needs a summary statement, our big conclusion! I wonder what yours would be?

Although I can’t completely relate to Solomon on many levels (one wife is definitely a good thing), his summary does resonate with me. There are many moments in my life that have given me great joy and satisfaction, and all of them appear to have the common thread of relationship. There is a richness in investing in others, and beauty in sharing life’s moments with those we care for. God’s commandments call us to love him and love others. In fact it is our tangible love for others that should identify us as followers of God! 

Perhaps Solomon was onto something; surely following God’s commandments propels us into a life of purpose and satisfaction, not through wealth, power or possessions, but through meaningful relationships that look to meet the needs of others, and demonstrate our love for God in the process. At the end of the day, purpose and satisfaction sound a whole lot better than just ‘stuff’. 

I hope you all have a great holiday PCS. Thank you for your support this term. Partnering with you in education is our greatest privilege. Enjoy plenty of extra time with friends and family, and maybe even visit the zoo!

See you all next term!


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