Have you ever travelled to a new country to discover that the destination looks nothing like the postcard pictures that attracted you there in the first place? I certainly have. But my recent trip to Canada was not one of those disappointing experiences. It was absolutely amazing.
In mid June I headed to Vancouver on sabbatical leave to study at Regent Theological College. Students came from all over the world to study together. It was amazing to unpack concepts such as ‘leadership in demanding times’ and living a ‘disciplined life’ with CEOs, pastors, business men and women and students training in leadership and theology. The wealth of experience in the room was humbling and learning at an institution with teachers the likes of J.I. Packer, Eugene Peterson, and R. Paul Stevens was outstanding. I learned a great deal and am looking forward to implementing some new strategies here at Cedars.
Although I didn’t take many postcard pictures from inside the classroom I did take some additional holiday leave while I was in Canada and got to see some of the beautiful countryside with my family.
One of the great experiences was visiting the Canadian Rockies and seeing the beautiful blue glacier filled lakes in the valleys.
I am not sure about you, but when I have a break or lift my head from the busyness of work and life I often get a better view of God or what he is trying to say to me. As we were standing by the beautiful Lake Moraine in Banff National Park our guide explained why the water was so blue.
He told us that as the glaciers slowly move down the mountain they crush and grind the rock beneath them into an extremely fine powder and this powder washes into the lake with the glacier melt. The additional particles in the water then scatter the blue light and we are left with this magnificent view. At that time, I couldn’t help but think about the difficult things in my life or in the lives of people I know and love. Often in the middle of extreme pressure and crippling weight we can’t see God or what He is doing to help us. But as time passes and we lift our eyes we can see that God was working, and the pressure we went through or the weight we carried was creating something even better or more beautiful than we could have imagined.
I had an amazing time studying and travelling, visiting schools and learning. I would like to thank the Board for seeing the value in sabbatical and Mrs Cochrane and the staff for the way they led the school in my absence. I look forward to sharing more of what I learned and some of the vision for our school over the coming months.
Let me encourage you to build times into your day, week, month and year where you take some time to stop, lift your eyes, and reflect on what God is doing to create something amazing.
Standing on the Athabasca Glacier