Heathdale flower 22nd March 2024

What a Difference!

Have you ever wished for a chance to rewrite your reactions to past events? Explore the wisdom of hindsight as we look at Psalm 23 with Executive Principal, Ross Grace. Discover the enduring presence of God's goodness, mercy and love that guides us through life's chaos and challenges.

Heathdale flower

Have you ever had one of those moments where your mind takes you back to past events and you recall how you reacted at that time and wished you had the chance to live this moment again as you’d do it differently?

There’s an old saying that goes, “With the wisdom of hindsight.” This saying resonates with me deeply because it reminds me that as we reflect on a moment or a circumstance that has passed, it can provide you with the opportunity to consider that if faced with a similar situation again, I’m not obliged to do the same thing, I could act differently.

As I was recently rereading Psalm 23, verse 6 stood out to me: “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me, and I will dwell in the House of The Lord forever.” As I read this verse, I began to wonder whether David wrote this verse when he has reflected on past events.

It probably goes without saying that the phrase that David uses in Psalm 23, “Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,” is an utterance of faith and trust in God. A bold statement such as this can only genuinely said by someone who looks beyond the immediate events and circumstances of life and has an implicit confidence in the One who is ultimately in control. If this faith is lacking, then it is impossible to be able to look beyond what we’re facing at that moment.

David’s faith in a loving, caring, all-knowing God enabled him to have the perspective on life that no difficulty or dilemma could come into his life without eventually seeing good emerge from the chaos. For followers of Jesus, when they look back on their lives, they see this truth, but the significant challenge is to believe it when you are during the chaos!

The Right Reverend Phillip Brooks (now there’s an amazing title!) was a significant Church leader in America between the 1890 and the mid to late 1900s and is best known for writing the words to the Christmas hymn, ‘The Little Town of Bethlehem.’

Phillip Brooks began his career as a schoolteacher and he and those around him had no doubts he would make an excellent teacher. However, he was an absolute failure! After being moved on from teaching, he returned home to his parent’s place, mortified beyond words. Amid this deeply dark time, there came a call for him to enter Christian Ministry. At first, he pushed this thought aside, but the call seemed to grow louder and more distinctive. This lead him on the journey to become a highly regarded preacher and Bible teacher with amazing influence and was deeply appreciated throughout America and Europe.

In one of his messages about Psalm 23, Phillip Brooks said: “In the hours of my humiliation of failing as a teacher, if anyone had of said to me that “God’s goodness and mercy were following hard on my heels,” I would have described that person as an imbecile!” Phillip Brooks went on to say that as he looked back over his life, he came to realise that God’s goodness and mercy were in fact doing just that, following hard on his heels! He concluded, “How differently I might have responded if I had of believed that then, as I do believe it now? God’s goodness and mercy are my constant companions!”

Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t mean that everything will be smooth and orderly. Life gets messy, chaotic and at times very difficult. How we navigate these challenging times is some wisdom we can share with the students each day.

We have the opportunity to let them know that God’s goodness, mercy and love is right there beside each and every one of them.

As a follower of Jesus this is goodness, mercy and love are always accessible. They are not only to be called on in difficult moments but are a constant experience each of us have moment by moment, day by day, week by week. It is God’s gift to our students, you and me. The Staff and I desire to see our students embrace this gift.