"Come, follow me," Jesus said...
"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. "Come, follow me," Jesus said, "and I will send you out to fish for people." At once they left their nets and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-20 ).
I have always found this scene in Matthew very challenging. On first glance it appears to be a fairly straightforward exchange between Jesus and two men. The consequences however were, in truth, significant considering they left their jobs, families and all that they knew in choosing to answer the 'call' and follow Jesus.
We can learn a lot about Jesus from this exchange, but I would like to focus on just one: Choice. Jesus' call to Peter and Andrew, you might have noticed, was an instruction, not a question. Regardless, Peter and Andrew still had a choice to make about whether to follow Jesus or not; a choice interestingly that Jesus still offers us today. And just like Peter and Andrew, we have a choice to make.
I think that we often forget that we always have a choice. It may not be an easy choice, a fun choice or a choice that will benefit us, but nonetheless, it is a choice. This ability to choose is a gift that I suspect we rarely fully appreciate. The gift of choice places the power and responsibility in our hands and allows us to be truly free.
Unfortunately, however, making the right choice is often complicated and can come with significant consequences. Learning to have the confidence to accept the consequences of a right choice, although difficult, enables us to have peace as we journey through in these difficult times.
One of the things we strive to help students grapple with at the College is the power and consequence of choice. By providing students with opportunities to choose, and then find peace with the consequences because they made the right choice, enables them to build their decision-making capacity. By providing an environment where students are not only reminded that they have a choice, but also have their choices challenged, we enable them to grow to increasingly be able to approach life's big choices with confidence.
As always, we do not do this in isolation. We do it in partnership with parents and carers. Together we provide a space where students can increasing choose well so they can thrive and find peace even in uncertain times.