Like we have for the last nine years (with the exception of 2020, like so many other things), this year, our middle school had the opportunity to attend our annual outdoor retreat. We had the opportunity to get to know each other and God better while surrounded by some gorgeous scenery. We tested our outdoor skills and grew in relationships each day and evening under the Wyoming sky.
I had the opportunity to be with one of the hiking groups on the Thursday morning that climbed around and up Medicine Bow Peak. Although I’ve climbed many mountains, I’ve never done one with a group of our students. It was an exhilarating experience! Seeing the Front Range from their perspective, and seeing them work together as a team to climb up and then back down, was great reminder of not only what is possible when we do challenging things -- but what we can do together, that we wouldn’t likely do on our own.
For me, it was a very physical (and somewhat painful!) metaphor for the rest of the year and the good, hard things that we get to do...and how much more enjoyable it is to do them together. We were created to live in communities, particularly smaller ones. Family, church, and school have historically been viewed as the foundation of our individual lives, as well as the nation.
Whether it is a climb up a mountain, helping with a home narration, processing a student’s response during recess, or sticking with a challenging math problem, we all have good work to do with our community’s children. May we have the eyes to see it as such and a heart ready to respond with joy even in the hardship.
As we discussed during our outdoor retreat and in our assemblies and chapels this year, we have a God who is with us and for us. He will be with us every step of the way, up or down the mountain. We just have to be willing to listen and receive His guidance.
I look forward to climbing more ‘mountains’ with our staff and families this year.