Principal's Blog - 16 August 2018

12 Aug 2018

Dear members of the Marcellin College Family,

Sometimes I think it is easy to fool ourselves into believing we have total control over our lives and where we are heading. We think that the path is a linear one leading us inevitably towards some distant attainable goal. Someone once said though, if you wish to give God a good laugh, tell him your plans.

Life often throws up circumstances which demand that we let go of our impulse to be in control and to become more passive participants in life. This requires us to become humble. To let go of our pride. To trust in and have faith in others.

Recently I have had period of enforced absence due to illness. During this time I have had the chance to reflect on what it truly means to genuinely allow others to take control, to hand myself over. I have to say it has been a liberating learning experience. Through opening myself up to support and care of others I have become a student of generosity, empathy, kindness and support taught to me by the example of many who I have had the privilege to meet during this time. These teachers have included all the staff at the Hospital who taught me the true meaning of compassion and about the importance of maintaining the dignity of each person they encountered. I have learnt too from the dedicated, thoughtful and encouraging staff of Marcellin about what true Christian service is all about. In this busy time of the year so many of our staff have taken on extra duties and responsibilities and they have done so with incredible grace and generosity of spirit. I am particularly grateful to the senior leadership team for giving me licence to focus on my recovery rather than the day to day goings on of our College.  I have discovered much about the power of the encouraging word from the many messages of support I have received from so many members of the Marcellin family. I am so blessed to work in a community where it is natural that people act in this way. I am grateful to you all for teaching me more about what it means to be part of a community of faith and love. I am incredibly fortunate to have as a constant in my life the unconditional love and support of my wife Caroline and my family who sustain me in all moments of my life.

I have to admit that the idea of giving myself over to the care and control of others is still a challenging and uncomfortable one. As a leader of a school community I am much more at home in the space where I am giving rather than receiving help. This past couple of weeks have taught me that you can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen. The motivational speaker Steve Maraboli said “You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.”

I leave the last word on this subject to Jesus himself, who tells us in Matthew’s Gospel …”Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear…But seek first God’s  kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I am recovering well from my illness and hope to be back in the Marcellin community the very near future.

Mark Murphy