Headmaster Blog for October 4th, 2013: What To Do When Things Go Upside Down

Greetings Summit Family!

We all have a plan. There is a way we want things to go—and we want them to go that way. In a perfect world with perfect people things might go that way, and there’s the rub.

We don’t live in a perfect world, and we are certainly not perfect people. As a result it is often the case that things don’t go the way we would like them to go. As much as I hate it when that happens, the important question is always, “how am I going to respond when things don’t go my way?”

So, what’s up with our broken humanity in this broken world? As we might expect, it goes back to Genesis 3 and something called “The Curse”. When Lucifer tempted [perfect] Eve in a [perfect] garden, the real carrot was not the fruit, but the prospect that Eve could be a god like God (cf. Gen. 3:5). TROUBLE!! Adam and Eve crossed the line and perfect people in a perfect world went out the window. Death became a reality in spades: Man died to himself (3:7), man and woman died in their relationship with each other (3:7), man and woman died in their relationship with God (3:8-10) and, finally, man and woman died physically (5:5). So also was death introduced to the cosmos; because of man’s choice God was compelled to “curse the ground” (cf. Gen. 3:17). The Apostle Paul says that creation is in “bondage to corruption,” and is “groaning” for its redemption (cf. Rom. 8:19-22). What a mess one bite can make!

Things certainly didn’t go the way Adam and Eve thought they would, and that has been the pattern ever since. What do we do when things don’t go our way? There are options: 1. Panic and Scream; 2. Resort to devious means; 3. Start throwing things; 4. Blame others (cf. Gen 3:11-13); 5. Etc. We all know that none of these ever resolve the issue—right?

When things don’t go our way we are thrust into high-stakes, emotionally charged circumstances in which a whole raft of things can go south in a New York minute if we are not 1. Vigilant (read Mark 13:9ff; Luke 12:15-21); 2. Humble (read James 4:1-12); 3. Submissive (read Ephesians 5:15-21); 4. Obedient (read John 13:34-35; 14:15). When things go upside down the first thing we always do is try to get control. From a certain point of view that is the last thing we should do.

When Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden the only thing they took with them that was remotely god-like was their own agenda (of course what they/we lack is the power and authority to ensure the outcome of our respective agendas). Funny how much better things go when the only agenda we’re concerned with is God’s agenda. When things go upside down and I panic, etc.—and try to reassert control—that’s often a sign that the agenda is mine and not God’s. If my determination is to follow God’s agenda, and things go upside down (as they often do), I don’t need to panic, etc. After all, He is God, and He does have the power and the authority to take action on behalf of His agenda. So, what is left for me to do? For starters I can quiet my soul and wait upon Him (cf. Psalm 37:7; Isaiah 40:27-31).

As you all know, our well-laid plans have recently gone upside down with the faculty at Summit; we lost a teacher at a very inopportune time. After some serious consideration I decided to not throw a temper-tantrum (hah). Seriously, the board and administration are seeking to do two things: First of all, we want to practice what I have been preaching in this newsletter; We want to wait upon the Lord to the end that we have a strong sense of His direction. Then we want to take measured steps that will help Summit navigate these rapids. We want to do this with the understanding that God is in charge and that we can trust Him to guide, direct and make provision.

We are a family. In healthy families all the respective members gather around a common challenge and pursue an outcome that will benefit the family. We are without a Fourth Grade teacher and during what we hope is a brief interim (hopefully not beyond Thanksgiving) we have decided that we will give Laura Welling oversight over both the Sixth and Fourth grades. We have chosen this path for several reasons; Laura is highly qualified and motivated to undertake this challenge, and the size of the combined classes remains manageable. To facilitate this solution we will put the Fourth Grade in the classroom next to Laura’s which is separated by a folding wall. Mrs. Ross’ Second Graders will move to the present Fourth Grade classroom (we will be moving furniture Sunday afternoon at 2:00PM and if you are available, your help would be welcome). We are also looking for parents with strong math and literature skills who could help with Fourth Grade. Please contact Dr. Orton if either might work for you.

Finally, please pray that God will direct our steps to a well-qualified candidate for this faculty position. If you had told me at the start of the school year that we would be in this situation I would have laughed at you. Nevertheless here we are. The good news is that our God is greater than all the challenges we face—and He is faithful! Pray and praise Him!

God bless you all,
Dr. Timothy Orton
Summit Classical Christian School


Summit Bulletin Board

  • If you are available Sunday afternoon, 2:00PM, we would greatly appreciate your help swapping out two classrooms. Many hands make light work. This should take less than an hour.
  • Look for a field-trip schedule that will be coming home in take-home folders.
  • If you have car-pooling, or other needs/opportunities, they can be placed on this bulletin board.


Headmaster Blog for October 4th, 2013: What To Do When Things Go Upside Down