Busy is fast becoming one of my least favourite adjectives. I have used it far too often to describe my day, my week, even my life! I think we use it these days as a measure of how important we are and, if we look exhausted as we tell someone how busy we are, that adds even more weight to our self proclaimed title.
Trying to remove the word from my vocabulary, I went to the Thesaurus to find a more appropriate replacement. ‘Snowed under’, ‘overloaded’, ‘engrossed’, ‘having many irons in the fire’, ‘having a full plate,’ or my favourite – ‘having too many fish to fry.’ Still, none of them felt right or gave me a better way to describe life in the 21st Century.
The reality is our lives can be very busy, especially at this time of the year. I have come to realise that busyness is not in itself a bad thing but if we are not careful we can miss out on some pretty important things in life if we don’t prioritise what we are doing. Prioritising what we do in life is the key. We know the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10, where Mary sat at Jesus’ feet while Martha was busy rushing around doing jobs missing out on spending time with Jesus.
Yes, the end of the year is a busy time at Cedars also, but I am prioritising a few things to make sure I am focussed on what is important.
During November and December I read over all of our student reports. I love to read about each student and what they have achieved. Having been Principal for seven years now at Cedars, I have loved seeing how a student has improved academically over time. Reading the reports reminds me that each individual student is important and that they are on their own learning journey. The amazing thing I see as I read the reports, is that each student ‘shines’ in their own unique way. Yes, they may shine in different areas and of course, nobody is perfect, but as I read these reports (which I have made a priority) I love to see the impact we are having in each child’s life and I (and their teachers) celebrate their achievements. I hope that as you read your child’s report this year, you will also be able to celebrate how far they have come.
Year in Review:
Each year I also prioritise the time to look back over the year and reflect on the achievements of the whole school. I go over our strategic plan, celebrate what we have completed and plan for the future. There are many things I am thrilled with as I reflect on 2019. Some of those achievements include opening our Early Learning Centre and seeing it full of students every day, completing the Futsal Field and watching our students train on it or play at lunch time, introducing Chromebooks for every child in Junior School to continue to build on their ICT skills, winning various academic and sporting competitions throughout the year, and achieving fantastic academic growth for our students in standardised testing. As a whole school we have also prioritised our engagement within the Christian Schools movement and have increased our awareness and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander culture within our school community.
When I reflect on the past year, I am always pleasantly surprised by how much we have achieved. The danger when being so busy is that we only focus on what is directly in front of us and we never look back to see what we have done or look forward to see where we are going.
Each year we finish with a bang! Celebration is a wonderful event where we come together as a community to celebrate what God has done in our school and in our lives this year. Yes, it is an event that takes a lot of effort to put on and people are very busy – but just like reading reports and reviewing the year, if we don’t prioritise what we do in the busyness of life and during this Christmas season, like Martha, we can miss the whole point.
The theme for our Celebration service this year is ‘Light’. Matthew 5:14 tells us that we are here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. It is hard to shine your light when you’re so busy. So let me encourage you during this season to stop and look at your busy life. Most things in our lives are important, but please take the time to prioritise what you are doing and make sure you don’t miss the opportunities to reflect on personal achievements, celebrate what you have done in your family, school, church, etc, and finally, to thank God for the amazing things He has done this year and to keep shining your light to show the world that our God is good.
I look forward to seeing you at Cedars Celebration and hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.