Principal's First Principles: Wayfinder

One of my favourite childhood memories was when, out of the blue, Dad would be driving and say to us: “Looks like we have a bit of extra time. Why don’t we go on a shortcut?”

Mum would groan and go: “No, no, no!” My sister and I would yell: “Yes, yes, yes!”

We’d often end up on narrow tracks and creek crossings. Once or twice, we got stuck. Of course, Dad’s ‘shortcuts’ were fun, but they were not short even though we loved these adventures.

Why am I telling you this? Because as parents and teachers, we are the drivers of our children’s lives in their early years. We gradually relinquish the wheel as they mature, learn, experience, dream, and strive towards goals.

Parents and teachers give children the best directions they can. We teach them to avoid shortcuts strewn with hazards and pitfalls. Shortcuts may seem shorter, but they can turn out to be longer or lead nowhere good in the long run, like cheating on tests and assignments or gossiping and excluding some kids because it's 'easier' to make friends that way.

This template finds its origins in the Garden of Eden. God created Adam and Eve in His image and set them on a path of discovery and learning. He wanted to give them experience in making wise choices and show them how to be good caretakers of the world He’d created. They were made after His image, but only by remaining open to growth and learning would they become more like Him.[1]

When Genesis tells us that the Serpent offered Eve a shortcut to becoming more like God, did he tell her the truth? Yes, in a way. Eating the fruit plunged Adam and Eve into an experience and knowledge of life that caused them and their descendants pain and suffering. They gained more knowledge of the consequences of their choices, but they missed the turnoff to the road God had given them coordinates for.[2]

Choosing to include God in everything we do means that we practise a life of integrity even when it’s not easy and we offer each other respect and kindness even when it seems more fun not to. Our mission as a school is to give students GPS coordinates that put them on a pathway back to their Creator.[3]

Principal's First Principles is a series of editorials by Brisbane Adventist College Principal Mr Peter Charleson.

[1] Refer to Romans 1:20
[2] Refer to Genesis 3:5
[3] Refer to 2 Corinthians 3:18