From the Headmaster's blog...
Posted 6 December, 2018
Fear Ends Where Faith Begins on the Long Walk to Freedom
This is the last newsletter for 2018 and therefore the last article. It has been another wonderful year - a year in which we have enjoyed God’s continued lavish blessing. So, it is fitting to ponder the life of a man who knew God well. He was voted as the “most influential person of the century” and his name was Nelson Mandela.
Nelson Mandela believed in freedom. His autobiography is called A Long Walk to Freedom. He
believed he could change the political course of his country. He believed that his cause was just. His faith overcame his fear.
Off the West Coast of South Africa there is a large Island called Robben Island. It is 3 1/2 hours by ferry and too far to swim from Robben Island to the mainland. It is inhospitable - an ideal place for a prison - and a prison it was for Nelson Mandela for 18 of his 27 years in captivity where he laboured every day along with convicted criminals in a Lime Quarry.
Nelson Mandela was a political prisoner. He was arrested and sentenced to life in prison in 1962 for speaking out against Apartheid, a political system where people were given better treatment than
others based on their race and the colour of their skin. As Mandela stepped off the boat a voice said “welcome to Robben Island - here you will die.”
After 27 years of growing domestic and international pressure and under the cloud of a potential
racial war, in 1990, the then President of South Africa, FW deKlerk, released Nelson Mandela, who later led his own political party to victory in the country’s first multi-racial elections. Mandela served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. Nelson Mandela was a prisoner one day and President four years later. In 1993, Nelson Mandela and President de Klerk were both awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for dismantling apartheid in South Africa.
Mandela became a cult figure. It is not something he pursued. But people will gather around a person who acts with integrity and humility and who treats others with respect. Mandela is affectionately called Madiba - Father of the Nation.
He once said -
During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal
opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for. But, my Lord, if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die. What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.
This Christmas we will celebrate another significant life spent dedicated to the service of others. Some argue that He was the most influential person in eternity - never to be surpassed. He is worth hearing about too and will be the focus of most church services on Christmas day His name is Jesus Christ and Christmas Day is the day we remember His birth - but only if we want to.