Be Strong and Courageous

Our theme verse for 2023-2024 school year is from Joshua 1:9 - “Be strong and
courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you
wherever you go.” The question is – WHO does this apply to? Parents or students or both?
Fear comes in many forms. My favorite is FOMO (fear of missing out). Other kinds of
fear are less pleasant – which is why the Lord tells Joshua (and us) to be strong and courageous.
Fear must be overcome.
So, what does a student fear when heading off to school? Will they be able to make the
grades? Will they fit in? Will it be what they expected? Will it be the best year of my life, or
On the other hand, what does a parent fear? Will my child be able to make the grades?
Will they fit in? Will I miss them and will they miss me (if your child is a boarding student)?
The thing is that fear is not reality. It is the anticipation of a worse-case scenario – and
can sometimes be a self-fulfilling prophecy. (Example: the fear of failing a test can make me so
afraid of testing that I freeze and so fail the test.)
Truth overcomes fear when that truth is based on the confidence that we can have in
our Lord, who knows the future and has dealt with our mistakes and the ultimate fear of
reprisals. That doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen. They will. Mistakes will be made
every single day by every human being - even on the campus of Saint Paul Lutheran High
School. Learning to overcome the challenges that we must face every day is part of the
process. The sooner we learn the better.
Challenges do not need to terrify or discourage us – when “the LORD your God is with
you wherever you go.”
Rev. Paul M. Mehl
Executive DIrector