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notes from ms. dahnke, head of school

Are you Looking Forward?

Philippians 3:13-14 says, "Brothers, [and sisters], I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus."

So...summer vacation is only a week away from becoming a reality. We see all the students cheering but also the teachers' smiles cover most of their faces. We all look forward to summer vacation and a bit more of a relaxed schedule if a schedule at all. Summer typically means beaches, sand, walking barefoot, swimming, and hanging out with friends and family.

Needless to say, summer means more camping for some. I am fairly certain that most of you have taken a hike at night in unfamiliar territory. Did you ever notice that it never benefits you to look behind you when you are trying to avoid roots, tree branches, stumps, logs, and even snakes if you are unfortunate enough to wander around one of those? If it is dark, you have to use your flashlight to guide you and show you the path. If it is still light outside, you have to really strain in the thick of the woods to make sure that you see all the obstacles that may be ahead of you on the path. In other words, you need to constantly look ahead, not behind, or you might get hurt or even fall off a cliff depending on where the hike takes place.

A car is driven in forward motion. It is more difficult to maneuver a car when you are in reverse than it is to drive straight forward. For those of you who have ever had to back up a truck with a trailer behind it, you have even a better idea of how tricky that can be. It is definitely much easier to drive forward.   

I think you can tell where this is going by now. In life, there are always going to be those times where we look behind and think about how things could have gone differently and how we may have messed up. That can be very healthy. We need to look behind to see where we can correct our mistakes or do something better the next time. The past is known and we already know how that turned out. The future can be scary and unpredictable. As Christians, looking forward requires that we trust that God is in control and have faith that He will see us through the hard times.

I believe that when God made us, He designed us so that we have to look forward. As a matter of fact, look around at the people sitting nearby. Their eyes are focused forward on their faces; their feet point forward when they walk; their noses are on the front of their faces and their ears are designed to be able to hear more of the noise ahead of them than the noise behind them. Not only does God demonstrate the concept of looking ahead on our bodies, God has also given us the Bible so that we can look forward at those things that await us in glory if we have given our hearts and our lives to Him.

Summer is coming but so is another school year. What plans are you looking forward to in the next couple of months? Trust that God has a plan in place for you and then allow Him to guide you to that plan so that you are looking forward and not dwelling on what is behind you.  

Enjoy the summer! Look forward to the fun that you will have and those short-term plans that you have made, but don't forget to look ahead to the bigger picture and long-term plans that God has made for you. "Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you" (Proverbs 4:25). Instead of living in the shadows of yesterday, walk in the light of today and the hope of tomorrow.