As parents, I am sure the experience you have with your children is not that different to the experience we have at school, we are both exposed us to various degrees of reluctance from youngsters. Reluctance to sit and concentrate on revision without a degree of ‘encouragement’ or reluctance to tuck in a school shirt on a warm spring day are, to a certain degree, expected age related responses. What saddens me, however, is when this manifests in a reluctance to celebrate accomplishments, or see oneself as someone with the possibility of achieving the exceptional.
Moses was a reluctant prophet. Deeply aware of the need to confront the brutality of the pharaoh in Egypt, God called out to him: “I have heard the cry of my people and I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people out.” But, scripture says, Moses insisted, “Who am I? Send someone else!”
The Moses story makes clear how much time it can take to face the fact that something must be done and that we are expected to do it. Did Moses doubt that God was with him? No. Did he doubt that this liberation of the people was God’s will? No. Moses believed both the voice and the vision. But he shows us something very important for our own lives: Lack of faith in God is one thing, but lack of self-confidence can be just as bad.
To deny the gifts we have been given- thought, insight, wisdom, analysis, understanding -is wrong, because it withholds from our community the very gifts we have been freely given for its good. Having gifts is nothing if we don’t use them and celebrate them.
A kind of pious worthlessness, where we cease to celebrate our achievements and see ourselves as worthy of greatness, can obstruct our ability to fulfil our full potential. And as Moses found out quickly, God does not like the “I am not worthy” argument!
As a school, and a community of children, parents, staff and carers, we need to work together to celebrate both the achievements of those in our care, and the self-confidence it takes to attempt something new and share these accomplishments with others. I am always delighted to write some to parents and carers when students have done well.
The notion of celebration is built into our mission statement recognising the potential young people have. I hope you have had an opportunity to read the latest version of the Oaklands news which celebrates the many and varied achievements and successes of our community.
This week’s message inspired by a colleague.
Lent: End of week 4