A quick recap on last week.

I firmly believe that we as Christians, when we view our potential impact upon this world, are called to be change makers for Heaven. To leave a legacy that adds to, improves and benefits those who follow.

We are called to be salt, to be light, to have impact and to make changes for the betterment of all. And as much as I agree with the Japanese football crowd’s approach to rubbish removal, I know our walk of faith should be noted for its impact, not its invisibility.

The 1953 published story, ‘The man who planted trees’ by Jean Giono, is a charming story about the virtues of environmental stewardship and tireless service – both of which are very important. In 1988 an animated Canadian adaptation of this story won that year’s Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.

Here is the video. It runs for 30 minutes and is a wonderful adaptation of the story:

If you are too short of time to watch the video, the quick takeaway of this story can be summarised in our 2023 theme: Legacy.

The efforts of this shepherd to revitalise a hidden valley on the French / Spanish borderlands, spanning decades of tireless effort and focused attention on planting trees, caring for the land in which he lived and bringing hope back in the face of despair, well, that’s it really, legacy.

As NNSW education, we seek, we claim, we pursue, for our early childhood and school programs to be the BRIDGE, our connection point into community. We seek to be a part of, not apart from. We seek to live out our identity authentically: to have our words and our actions match.

We seek for what we do on each of our sites to be repeated in the shopping centres, beaches, churches, sporting fields and regions in which our presence is found. We are ambassadors, we are change agents, we are the hands and feet of Heaven and we are called to be Legacy Leavers.

Salt is irrelevant in a salt shaker. Light has no purpose until it is revealed. Both just sit as latent, inert potential – and potential can be a dangerous sedative. Talk about potential enough and you can convince yourself that you are on the cusp of success, that the talk is enough and the final ‘actioning’ of this potential will miraculously realise before your eyes.

This talk puts you to sleep.

Potential should exist as the motivating, driving force that propels us forward to reach that goal, achieve that outcome and even more pointedly – connect to our community. Take action.

NNSW Education should not be something you visit, it should be something you join, that you become a part of and then be an ambassador for.

Legacy is not written on monuments, logos and signs: it’s written in hearts.

Legacy is in relationships.

Real relationships.

What will your legacy be in ’23?

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.