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Rockbridge Academy Blog


Godspeed and Resurrection

April 10, 2024
By Roy Griffith, Headmaster

While all that borrows life from thee is ever in thy care, and everywhere that Man can be, thou God art present there.
I Sing the Almighty Power of God—Isaac Watts

In the opening week of school, we spread the word that the unifying theme for the year at Rockbridge Academy would be the simple salutation, Godspeed. In an essay about Godspeed written in early September, I challenged our community to ask God how to abide in Christ in the individual moments of life, to take each step under His lordship, and so to literally do life at God’s speed. Because He has seemingly hardwired a certain pace for most activities of daily life, we should find ourselves slowing down (or speeding up) to intentionally keep in step with His lordship over each task of our day.

From the setting aside of schole weeks throughout the year in upper school with extended time for meditation and discovery, to the weekly focus on theological truth in grammar school during Monday Morning Catechism, or even in our personal goals, like the challenge I made to myself to slow down enough to learn every child’s name by the end of October, Godspeed has been about a joyful and intentional stewardship of the minutes and hours granted us. As a result, I see the community of Rockbridge Academy loving God more worshipfully and loving neighbor more intentionally.

From the Moment to the Momentary
But alas, no sooner had the September leaves started changing, than the Lord began impressing on us an even more profound lesson of Godspeed. Having been around this community for many years, I can attest that there has never been a season so unspeakably tender, so poignantly Providential, and yet so exceedingly painful for Rockbridge families as the valley of tears we have experienced in recent months. Rockbridge Academy has had more dads inexplicably pass away than one can count on one hand. This has been as grueling as it has been mindboggling. Yet one thing we do know is that if Godspeed is about the reality of abiding in Christ’s lordship each moment, nothing reveals a sense of that lordship like the tragedies that show us how momentary this life can be.

In his book, The Problem of Pain, C.S. Lewis famously stated that, “God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” Humbly, I would posit that our Father has been shouting love messages to us through this succession of recent calamities. Contrary to adding insult to injury, these multiplied losses within the Rockbridge community have somehow served to amplify the LORD’s love for His people …to a cosmic proportion. On one hand, such a deluge of events causes us to fall on our faces and cry out in holy disbelief, “The Lord Almighty! He reigns!” Yet at the same time, witnessing over and over the redemptive stories brought out at each funeral, seeing the fruit of the Gospel being celebrated, and repeatedly witnessing the people of God close ranks around hurting families in service, mourning, and generosity only confirms beyond doubt that we are held firmly by a loving Father.

Not One Drop Wasted 
Years ago, when my own dad, a very healthy sixty-year-old, died unexpectedly in his sleep, God met me through the book of Ecclesiastes and did battle with my throbbing disbelief. The words on the page did not remove the aching pain that ebbed and flowed in my heart, but relentless truth from God’s word galvanized an internal assurance that Christ has forever removed the sting of death. Regardless of whether we want to acknowledge it or not… Love wins. Joy conquers. Jesus reigns. In the same way, raw, unadulterated, industrial grade assurance is being poured out on our community through these tragedies, assurance that Jesus Christ rules over all. May the year of 2023-24 serve as a lasting witness to our children.

As we celebrated Easter, both mourning and celebrating over recent events, we are forced to the bold precipice of the resurrection and have to admit that it could not be with caprice or coldness that the Father offered up his own Son to death on a cross. Likewise, in the months ahead, we can be confident that our loving Father will not waste one drop of this year’s agony in His plans to bring the abiding good of His redemption to this community. 

Godspeed. He is Risen!

Posted in Worship