Monday, November 26, 2012

Message from Keith de Laet, Elementary Principal

This past Thanksgiving weekend, I had the opportunity to go and see the Grand Canyon University presentation of “A Christmas Carol”.  It was an added bonus that my son Nathan was cast a Bob Cratchit  I love the story of  “A Christmas Carol”, and it is a holiday tradition to take in a couple of times.  It doesn’t seem to matter to me if it is a play or a film, serious or parody, or even the muppets!  A Christmas Carol never seems to get old for me.

Different viewers take in different meanings, I’m sure.  To me, the tale is about the value of the human soul.  When the story opens we meet Scrooge who, for all his business success, has lost sight human worth.  One by one we are introduced to characters, living and dead, who see beyond the day to day routine of life.  Life, to these characters is a celebration of human worth and therefore we only really live when we care, share, and invest ourselves into the lives of our fellow man.  Failure to make this investment leads to a wasted existence, Dickens tells us.

I think that I love this so much because it ties in directly to what Jesus taught us when he said that the thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and that you might have it abundantly.  Killing, stealing, and destroying comes in many forms.  Certainly Scrooge had his possessions, but his joy had been stolen.  Most of the other characters had little wealth, but were filled with joy and wonder for the value of the human soul.  The same is true for us.  A person can have more wealth than one could ever need, but be lost.  One can also seemingly have nothing, but be filled with purpose and direction.  

I may seem to digress, but often we play the wish game.  If you could wish for anything, what would it be?  I like to think it is a simple question, one should wish for contentment.  If you think about it for a moment, most people wish for things like money, fame, or relationships because they believe these things will make them content.  So why not cut to the chase and wish for contentment.  It seems to be the thing we long for and the thing Jesus said He came to offer; life with abundance.

I think this is why I love “A Christmas Carol” so much.  It reminds me of the value of the human soul and that true contentment comes only through Christ.  I’m also glad that every year we get a reminder.

Blessings to you this Christmas!
Keith  de Laet

Monday, November 5, 2012

Message from Margaret Crotts, Elementary Teacher


Owen likes road trips.   He does.  His crate fits perfectly in the back of my car, and he’s always ready to hop in.  He never begs to see an itinerary.  He never questions my route.  He doesn’t ask if we’re “there yet” or whine for a rest stop, or water, or a toy.  He gets settled in his crate, I get behind the wheel, and off we go.   I’m in charge of the driving – and my sweet, four-legged friend is along for the ride.

 I usually put something interesting in the crate to occupy his attention – a chewie rawhide or a beat up toy -  but before long Owen’s lying down, his eyes drooping closed and his breathing even and slow.  He’s not afraid to sleep while I navigate; he trusts me to get us where we’re going.

 If the trip is long and I stop for a bit, I’ll open the back and take Owen out for a break;  a turn on the leash, sniffing and exploring, and a drink and a bit of a treat to eat.  I don’t leave him unattended; I never forget he’s there.   When it’s time to crate up again he doesn’t balk; he goes right in easy and settles down quickly.  He’s along for the ride.

 You see where this is going, right?

 My dog’s faith puts mine to shame.  In contrast to Owen, I wonder how often what the driver ( let’s call him God) is up to;  question the route he uses to take me where he means for me to go;  feel the need for frequent updates to reassure me that we are, in fact, making good progress.  And in no way do I relish being “loaded in” for travel facing backward, with no visibility and no control over the trip.

 He means to get me from point A to point B, and to mature me in the process.  I find it difficult to give myself to this “going” without seeing – to say “yes” to the journey and say nothing more.  I struggle to relax, and fear that if I close my eyes we may veer hopelessly off track.

Even writing these words I feel ashamed.  I’ve followed him long enough that I should be more confident with his way-finding skills.   I should enjoy the trip, and be relieved to not be minding the map.   I should feel free to sigh and sleep – to snore even – knowing he is getting us where we need to be.  After all, he is the navigator.  And I’m just along for the ride.

Leigh McLeroy