Value number 7: Undaunted Perseverance
Thoughts from Headmaster, Rebekah Hagstrom
It is said that nothing worthwhile comes easily. Therefore undaunted perseverance completes our body of values that began with biblical principles. Without it, our other values will fail to be fully exercised. Perseverance keeps a person on course to fulfill all God intends for their lives as they encounter roadblocks, pitfalls, discouragement, anxiety, and the like.
In the book of Hebrews, God tells us not to shrink back in fear, but persevere in doing the will of God and in due time, we will receive what God has promised. (Hebrews 10:35-39) In an era of helicopter parenting, developing perseverance and strength is becoming almost countercultural. Even Christians have bought into the notion of, “I just want my child to be happy.” But happy is often equated with care free, problem free, easier lives; with little thought about the future. We’re a short sighted culture, focusing on the here and now, rather than long term goals. Character development often takes second seat to fun and friends. Does that lead to true joy? Usually not. But it does frequently produce self-centered, easily discouraged, anxious, oft-complaining, soft snowflake young adults.
Persevering Through Tough Times
But what if God’s plan for our students is to experience joy, purpose and fulfillment by persevering through tough times? For instance, getting through a series of difficult assignments, a company of challenging peers, a variety of time consuming projects? Or by having to sit out from a starting position on a sports team because of a bad attitude? And then what if that experience is what prepares them for the challenges of life: college, career, marriage, parenthood, all of which need undaunted perseverance to succeed? It quickly becomes obvious that what we really want for our children is character shaping challenges that enable them to develop their faith and obedience to God’s plans for their lives.
The more quickly students understand and embrace the fact that they are part of God’s grand plan for humanity, the sooner they will begin to take responsibility for developing their gifts and talents undaunted by the challenges and trials their development requires. Our talents are gifts God has given to the world THROUGH us. If we bury them, ignore them, or leave them undeveloped out of laziness, fatigue, or a desire for the “easy” path, we’re being disobedient. By not carrying out God’s full intentions through our talents we limit ourselves as well as our ability to contribute to the culture.
Persevering at Liberty Classical
As founder and headmaster, I know firsthand what it means to face roadblocks, naysayers, and challenges since all of those thundered at me and the other Liberty Classical Academy founders like the unrelenting, pounding waves of an ocean. Challenges such as learning the building we had planned to rent would no longer be available—only six months before opening; losing our website after ads had been placed right before an open house; struggling to find all the necessary teachers and raising enough money to open. The list goes on. There was even a time when I was ready to quit, discouraged by all the trials and difficulties that left me wondering if maybe God really didn’t want Liberty Classical to open, after all.
But because I placed my faith in God above all things, I was sensitive to his leading. When I opened my devotional the next morning and saw the title was simply, “Don’t Quit!” Sometimes God has to be direct! But those words and the encouraging message that accompanied them, provided the fortitude I needed to remain undaunted in my perseverance. Only a few short months later, by God’s grace, the school was open!
Our hope for the students of Liberty is that as graduates, no task will be too difficult, too challenging, or too painstaking to be accomplished. We pray our students will rely on God to persevere in breaking through every barrier, crossing every bridge, finding every person, and silencing every naysayer. In short, do whatever it takes to accomplish the will of God, all for his glory and their fulfillment.
Thoughts from K-12 Director, Jeff Button
It is appropriate that Undaunted Perseverance concludes our foray into the Liberty Classical Academy Body of Values. For without the perseverance to execute the previous six values, all will be in vain. Without perseverance, it will be exceedingly difficult to accomplish anything in the aforementioned traits of Biblical Principles, God, Family, and Country, Loving Relationships, Educational Excellence, Cultural Engagement, and Courageous Leadership. Perseverance allows our students to meet the challenges ahead of them and see each to completion.
Examples of Perseverance
At Liberty, there is no shortage of opportunities to exercise perseverance. The coursework is challenging, and new skills must be learned and applied at each level. We consistently lead students in the attainment and exercise of new skills. It is through the challenge of algebra problems that we truly learn those processes. It is through the difficult drills of a basketball practice that those skills are honed and developed. It is through the speeches and presentations our students give that they become confident, well-spoken leaders. These talents may come naturally to some, but to most they must practice, and practice often. Life itself is a series of challenges to be met with undaunted perseverance.
One tangible example of an exercise in undaunted perseverance is through an assignment that government students must complete in their 11th grade course; the reading and analysis of a “Federalist Paper.” The Federalist Papers were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in the late 1700’s to convince the American colonies to adopt the then new Constitution.
Although written for the commoner to read, (which speaks volumes about the degradation of our own contemporary understanding of the language) they are anything but simple to understand and comprehend. Perhaps a short excerpt from one of these essays will illustrate the point of their difficult language.
The right of coining money, which is here taken from the States, was left in their hands by the Confederation, as a concurrent right with that of Congress, under an exception in favor of the exclusive right of Congress to regulate the alloy and value. In this instance, also, the new provision is an improvement on the old. Whilst the alloy and value depended on the general authority, a right of coinage in the particular States could have no other effect than to multiply expensive mints and diversify the forms and weights of the circulating pieces. – Federalist No. 44, James Madison.
As one can tell, this certainly is not a text to be read quickly or without a serious focus. Juniors at Liberty are required to read, annotate, analyze, and create original thought from a careful study of one of these essays, there are 85 in total. One particular student this year, showed tremendous amounts of undaunted perseverance. English is not her native language and certainly early 18th c. English does not come easily to her. Nevertheless, she pushed through the assignment, making careful notes and looking up words she didn’t know and asking for help in the phrasing she didn’t understand. This student met the challenge of a very difficult text in a language not her own and did very well on the assignment also. She displayed not only perseverance, but undaunted perseverance in taking this task head on without complaining or grumbling.
Concluding Our Body of Values
It is fitting that Undaunted Perseverance is seventh in Liberty’s seven Body of Values. Just as Biblical Principles (the first value), are over all Liberty’s values, Undaunted Perseverance remains under each in the collection. From classroom trials ranging from difficult texts, memorization challenges, and public speaking opportunities, to a variety of athletic competitions, musical ventures, and leadership trials, Liberty students are trained and equipped in Undaunted Perseverance, an essential trait needed for the difficult challenges of life today and the world of tomorrow.