“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore, be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
(said by Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel of the Bible)
This is the week, the fortnight, the string of days where we do the thing that hurts us; and yet, it is the thing that we must do because it fulfils our mission.
This is the string of days where we finalise the task of many years. At the end of this string of days, we will have completed our mission of the past many years, in some cases, the past thirteen years.
Not just our teachers, but our whole staff team has been investing in what are now our Year Twelve Leavers. Some of our current crop of leavers have been with us since 2010. Others may have been here for a lesser time and still others may have only come to us relatively recently, but for all of our leavers and our staff, this is a time where happiness and sadness mix and merge.
Of course, the conclusion of schooling must happen. It can’t be like that old joke: “VCE was the best five years of my life!” We do want schooling to finish, but it is poignant when it does.
We are sending our graduating students out into the wide, wide world, and we pray that the guidance they have been given over their years with us means they follow the Lord’s good plan for their lives. People can make their own plans, but the plans that the loving Creator makes for us will be far better than anything we can devise for ourselves.
Jesus the Teacher also sent his learners out into the wide world. In the quote above, he tells his learners to be smart like snakes and harmless like doves. They are to be both simultaneously: clever and innocent. We also hope our graduating students will follow Jesus’ teachings. We hope they will be smart, very very smart, too smart to be outsmarted by the wily world; and at the same time, too innocent to be lured into the world’s wiles.
Is it possible?
Is it possible that our graduates can go to uni, to work, into business, into training, into whatever is next for them and stay smart enough to be safe and trusting enough to be kind? We hope so and we hope that their years with us have been working towards this opportunity. In fact, we send our graduates out with our deep hope that they will now implement the opportunity that you, their parents, have given them. You have allowed them to attend a school where anyone who wants to learn, can learn. Anyone who wants to thrive, can thrive. Those who want to succeed can do so.
Parents and staff, as we celebrate (and weep a little) the culmination of our vision for our learners, join us in praying that the Lord will remind them to be clever enough to engage with their society, but never so clever that they become stained by their society. Let’s pray that they can be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves.
david gleeson, principal