I hope that word describes how you felt, at least even just a little bit, after CASE/CAPE last week.
Grateful for the time and effort put in by a select few, for the benefit of the many.
Whilst we thanked Jo and MJ on stage, I want again to affirm both those ladies from GSC for the AMAZING work they did; for the effort, the passion and pursuit of excellence that they used as the platform for our two days together. Thank you both so much.
I am grateful for the time we spent in worship; the music, the songs chosen, the enthusiasm for and authenticity of, the worship time we had together. God was in the House!
I am grateful for the presenters who shared their passion projects, their heartfelt messages and their encouragement to us all to be ‘Renewed’. I am grateful for the sound, lighting and organising team who kept the days on track.
I am grateful for the breakout groups, for the professional discussion and interchange of ideas. I am grateful for the venue, the food, the coffee and the conversations. I am grateful for the sponsors and supporters who set up their stalls in the church foyer. I am grateful for Avondale University welcoming us with open arms and hosting as they did.
I am grateful for you, who attended, who travelled from around the state, who spent time away from home and who leaned into this experience together.
I was parked at a set of lights this week, waiting my turn to enter a road off to my left. As is the case at the moment, quiet moments can often lead me into periods of foggy introspection. My eye though caught site of a person in a mobility scooter waiting to cross the road in front of me. They were just so happy. A big smile, chatting to others waiting to cross, clearly unknown to each other but deep in a conversation, enjoying whatever topic had their attention.
But what had me second guessing my own foggy introspection, was the realisation that the person in the mobility scooter had no legs! Their legs finished at mid thigh, that was it.
The sight of this person, engaged in animated, joyous conversation, had me instantly in the mindsight of how easy it is to be overwhelmed by circumstance and context, to not be focused on what we have, what I have, to be grateful for. Clearly this person did.
A stranger, who I did not speak to; through their actions, through their attitude… through the way they were living out their day – showed me that gratitude changes lives.
Gratitude is an emotional muscle worth strengthening.
Exercise it today. I know I need to.
This word of encouragement for Christian educators was written by Dean Bennetts, and distributed in The Bridge newsletter in 2023. Dean is the CEO of Adventist Education in North New South Wales, Australia.