Dear Graduating Class of 2017,
You may not have noticed it, but I’ve learnt a great deal about Lakeside College from you. By overhearing staff conversations about you, by reading your reports, by chatting with you in the yard, through talking with your parents and most of all, seeing how you go about your learning here at the College. You taught me what the heart of Lakeside College is – a caring learning community which strives to meet the needs of all students and a community that is inclusive of many perspectives. For this, I am grateful.
My favourite record of Jesus’ life is the Gospel according to John. It is my favourite because it records Jesus very much as one of the great philosophers. He may even have given Mr Quill a run for his money!
In John 1:35, two disciples of John the Baptist see Jesus for the first time and they start walking behind him. Turning around, Jesus sees them following and asks, “What do you want?”. Other translations record this as Jesus asking “What do you seek?”
I believe that answering this very question is the key to a happy, healthy and fulfilling life. However, unlike many answers on your upcoming exam papers, this answer ebbs and flows. It is not static and neither it should be.
Year 12s, I do not envy you. My generation did not have the flood of messaging that you have to deal with. We did not have so many different sources pushing us to seek and want what others want us to want and seek.
My simple advice to you today is this: refuse to seek anything other than what you feel called to seek.
Refuse to listen to those who would have you seek things that are unhealthy for you in mind, body or soul.
Refuse to listen to those who encourage you to be selfish and to use your gifts and talents to simply earn a pile of cash, while there is hunger and injustice in our world.
Refuse to believe anything other than knowing that God created you unique and calls you to a life seeking after Him, not seeking after the world.
Year 12s, don’t be strangers. Do come back and visit us. The blessing and curse of being involved in education is investing so heavily in you and then see you leave us as you go into the wider world.
A great blessing of my life this year was the chance to see my Year 12 Principal for the first time since 1999. He gave me a hug, asked about my life and my achievements and said how proud he was to see me following a path in education he too trod. I pray that 20 years from now I have that same privilege with you.
Go well Year 12s. Seek what is good and pleasing to God and you will do well. The community of Lakeside College has no doubt that you will have wonderful impact on our world.
God bless you