Dealing with being uncomfortable

Junior School students go outside their comfort zones on camp

Junior School students go outside their comfort zones on camp

Associate Chaplain, Andy FlemingI was lucky enough, last week, to accompany Year 3 and 5 on their respective camps. Their enthusiasm was infectious, and it was fantastic to see the groups work together to complete various tasks. The curiosity and creativity of our young students is really something to behold. However, what stood out for me the most is the courage of many students attempting something new that can be considered daunting for many. 

In particular, the Year 5s had the opportunity to participate in rock climbing, abseiling (see picture) and a giant swing. As someone quite fearful of heights, all three of these activities are something that I would not rush out to do. Naturally, there are those who get a great thrill, but when talking to the students before they engage in these challenges, there was a definite sense that many of them were apprehensive, and perhaps even a little frightened. Still, they were strapped in their harness and climbed up, ‘jumped’ down and swung in the chair. It struck me that the students are prepared to get ‘comfortable in the uncomfortable moments.’ 

This is an idea I’ve used in my rugby coaching and Outdoor Education teaching. Where do you draw your strength from, when confronted with being outside of your comfort zone? In the great uncertainty of our times, this question is good to reflect on. In normal circumstances, Year 12s finish school and move from a safe and comfortable environment that they have known so well. Despite having plans for their future, they will need to overcome the ‘fear of the unknown’ as they venture out into the world. 

It is during these challenges that we may turn to those who give us strength and courage, helping us to have the confidence to be comfortable in unfamiliar circumstances or situations. Whilst we may have a parent, friend, teacher, or mentor-figure who provides us with an earthly strength, we know Jesus has our back too, and we can turn in our faith to Him in these times. During the Passover meal Jesus and the disciples shared on the night he was going to be betrayed, arrested and killed, in the uncertainty, he provides words of comfort and strength, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” (John 14:1). In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul, writing about being in times of distress, wrote, “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) It is a great source of comfort to know that we can draw on Jesus’ strength and courage when we need it most.

Bishop Mark Short (image credit: Holly Treadaway)Anglican News – Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn
Radford College students, parents and staff featured in October’s Anglican News

Our Diocesan Bishop, Mark Short, will visit Year 12 chapel to share with students some of his story, and also some stories about Bishop Radford. Bishop Mark’s recorded message to encourage Year 12 students can be viewed here

Blessings for your week ahead
Chaplain Andy Fleming

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