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Thought For The Week - 11-09-23

So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

How was the start of term for you? I always love the start of term: fresh notebooks, new stationery (who doesn’t love going stationery shopping at the end of August?), new classes to get to know, everything feeling so fresh and new. September has always felt more like a new year to me than January, a time to start eating healthily again after the summer treats, a promise to myself that I’ll walk more or not be on my phone so much!

The new term can also bring other feelings, perhaps of ‘here we go again’ or ‘what is this year going to throw at me?’ These feelings are not necessarily negative, just a recognition that in teaching anything can happen and it’s perfectly acceptable to be excited about all the newness and yet have a sense of slight apprehension of what will happen this year.

2 Corinthians 4:18 encourages us to think wider than what we see in front of us, or what we think might come this year:

So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

We live in a physical world, a world in which we can see, hear, touch, and so on. However, for Christians and many other faiths, there is also an unseen world, a spiritual world. To some people that may seem strange but for Christians it provides hope.  The verses before verse 18 speak about the physical world as the outwardly that is wasting away, reminding their readers that the spiritual world is eternal and inwardly, that we are being renewed every day. For Christians, this speaks of the hope of eternal life, something bigger than what we see before us. Paul wrote this letter to the people of Corinth who were experiencing great hardship in this world: they were being persecuted for their faith and he encouraged them to endure these ‘momentary troubles’ (verse 17) with a hope that is beyond the physicality of this world.

I hope and pray you are not experiencing a similar situation to the people of Corinth, but we all know that working in schools in this world can bring real challenges as well as joys

On those challenging days, why not try and fix your eyes on what is unseen. For some of you, that may be the eternal life Christians believe Jesus gives; for others it may be just looking at the bigger picture of the situation, but for all it is remembering these troubles are momentary and will not last forever.

One thing I have found particularly helpful at the beginning of this term is to write 5 things down I love about my job, because I do genuinely love my job. On those challenging days, I make a commitment to look at this list: it is good to have that reminder pinned up in my office. It will help me look beyond what is before me and see the bigger picture.

from Lynsey Norris, Assistant Diocesan Director of Education

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