To the Veritas Academy Community and other University-Model™ schools around the country:
Yesterday my grandkids and I were discussing the battle within our hearts between choosing right and wrong. I explained to them how Jesus won the overall battle on their behalf at the cross, but each day they had ongoing choices to make – to be wise or foolish, to lie or be honest, to be diligent or lazy, to obey or disobey their parents – that each of their choices moved the core of their character slowly in one direction or another.
Sitting on the couch, with her thoughts seemingly somewhere else, my 10-year-old granddaughter Kate asked, “WHAT IF?”
“WHAT IF I didn’t know Jesus? I wonder what it would be like. My friend on swim team doesn’t believe anything about God. Do you think it’s easier not knowing?”
This was a great question from a girl who feels badly when she has disappointed someone or done something wrong. I surmise that Kate was wondering if not thinking about these types of choices would in fact be an easier path.
Her question led to a great conversation about how all mankind suppresses truth, which God has made clear about Himself. (Romans 1)
- That even though we may know what’s right, we are drawn, at times, to doing what’s wrong.
- That a life apart from Jesus provides NO escape from the resulting guilt.
- That even if her friend didn’t think there was a God, she would spend her life trying all sorts of ways to fill a spot in her heart that only God can fill.
- That only Jesus can satisfy the deepest needs of one’s heart.
My heart swells with gratitude for opportunities like this….
….For mornings when we start school late to have these types of conversations.
Five years ago, when I first took on the role of co-teaching my grandchildren on Tuesdays, I did so to better understand the role of co-teachers at Veritas Academy. I must admit that it was a difficult year.
Disruptive. Messy. Exhausting. Even unnerving at times.
“I can do this,” I told myself. “After all, it will just be for one year.”
Now five years later, I deeply appreciate Tuesdays and plan for these days with joy. I want to keep doing this as long as I am able. (And as long as my children allow me to!)
Later in the day, I pondered my own “WHAT IF” questions:
- WHAT IF Glen and I had never moved to Austin?
- WHAT IF the founders of Veritas had said NO to the charge to start a school?
- WHAT IF I had said NO to working at Veritas?
I think back to when I said YES – when doors opened for the very first time in the fall of 2005.
We were warned that to successfully implement a University- Model™ Classical Christian School with a Charlotte Mason flavor was impossible. Yet it was the mission God had placed on the founders to do. So we set out to do it.
I remember walking out the very first year, as the school’s head administrator, wondering “WHAT IF” the nay-sayers were right – WHAT IF this grand experience would in fact turn out to be a colossal failure. I felt some measure of relief that I had only said YES to two years. Having left a private school in Oregon, where I had served as its first administrator, I knew first-hand the heavy strain and responsibility of developing a new school and I longed to ease into retirement and be free of the pressures.
WHAT IF I had quit after two years?
WHAT IF I had said no to God’s call? I would have been wholly unaware of many incredible blessings and privileges that were to come my way later on. (At the very top of my list is to have 10 (hopefully 11 next year) grandkids attend Veritas Academy)
Life is a huge privilege – and an amazing opportunity. A multitude of blessings can be found when we say YES to the opportunities God puts before us.
It’s not always easy however.
Often, in fact, the road is rough and bumpy with detours along the way.
I am reminded of when our school leaders first said YES to purchasing the property we will soon move onto. It has been a complicated and strenuous journey to get there. And much longer than envisioned.
I assume that for some in our community, the cost of this impending move with its uncertainties and challenges, may even feel too steep to embark on. Someday, however, I am confident that the Veritas community will, in hindsight, be incredibly grateful for opportunities and privileges this move will have afforded us.
I love what Beth Moore says in this twitter feed that Christi Wilson sent yesterday. It encapsulates my thoughts on all this so well:
“So you thought you knew where God had you going. It all started out so clear. Now you’re all like “What the heck? What is going on here? This can’t be it.” Oh yeah it can. For now. Not forever. Study faith-walks of our predecessors in Scripture. You’ll see the pattern so often…Keep walking with God, though the path leads through briars & thorns, devils & darkness, perils & boredom. Though gullies outnumber glories. Even when rivers don’t part and you feel like God nearly let you drown swimming it. Keep walking even when you think He’s mean. He’s not. He’s faithful. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows why this season’s critical to your future. When you’ve utterly lost all vision for your life, God hasn’t. He sees the whole lay-out. One day you will too. He loves you. Hasn’t changed His mind about you. Trust. WALK ON. God is telling a great gospel story with our lives. The comfy successful life we keep praying for with all ups/no downs would bore an insomniac into hibernation. This is an adventure here. Jesus told us this’d be harrowing. Just wait. One day we’ll hear our stories from His angle.”