Hope in Difficult Times

By Philip Schonken - School Chaplain

The theme of our Chapel gatherings over the past term has been “2020 vision”. I wonder, looking back how you have fared with the vision you had in January. Did you get what you wanted out of the last three months? Did you perform, socialise, participate, engage, learn, reflect as much as you wanted to? What have you discovered about yourself? We learn things about other people quite easily – it is more difficult to learn about ourselves.

Looking forward, we are all facing some uncertainty. No one really saw this one coming. But we are in it and have to deal with it. It is inspirational how people are dealing with the challenges they face – whether they are medical staff, carers, prison staff, small business owners, travel agents, service providers…pretty much all of us.

While it feels that we have had to give all sorts of things up, I was reminded of the talk given by the Chair of our Board of Governors, Dr Eve Poole, just after half term. She used the following scripture from Roman 5v3.

“We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance: perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope”

Now you can read that in different ways, but I like to interpret it that whatever situation we find ourselves in, we learn perseverance and this produces character which in turn gives us hope.

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen – a feeling of trust – we want something to happen or to be the case.

There are some lovely quotes about hope all over the internet:

  • “When the World says ‘give up’, hope whispers ‘try it one more time.”
  • “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” Nelson Mandela

Read them – be encouraged by them – share them with others.

So, as we go into this Easter break, with so many uncertainties, let us stay strong, hold onto HOPE and please STAY IN TOUCH. This is a home and there are people here that care for you. Use technology to keep in contact with your tutors, housemasters and housemistresses, matrons, teachers and sports coaches – hey, maybe even me!