“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
1st Corinthians 13, 4-8
This week I was asked if I had written my Friday morning message yet, and my answer was this: Sometimes the message writes itself.
This morning I write with a full heart. After another wonderful weekend spent with family, all I can do is be grateful and appreciative of the love that was present everywhere. Clarendon College has much in common with so many other Jamaican high schools based on our common cultural heritage. And yet it feels as if we are unique. That our story somehow is different.
And maybe it is. Who else has such a dramatic made for TV origin? The story of a young minister with a dream to found a school for the farmers of Clarendon. A school to uplift the hopes and dreams of those who were not the big landowners but the simple proud descendants of slaves. Our story began with hope and could have ended so quickly when our founder, the Rev. Lester Davy died in a train crash one month after the school doors opened. It would have been so easy for the people of Chapelton and Church leaders to think that was a sign to give up.
But through a belief in his vision, and a determination to keep his flame burning, the school not only stayed open but flourished. And today 2000 students attend the most beautiful campus set high in the hills of Clarendon. No wonder we feel as if we have a special reason to celebrate seventy years later. No wonder we ‘boasty’ when we talk of our school “CC to the worrrrrrrrrld!”
We are blessed to be able to come together and celebrate this heritage in a spirit of love and gratitude. In the midst of enjoying each other’s company and soaking up the entertainment of our own talented Miss Letna there was a deeper message. We listened to the stories of young graduates who relied on the alumni chapters not only for funds, but for the underlying moral support that buoyed them and kept them afloat during tough times. I hope that everyone present could feel the love they feel for us, for they certainly felt the love we have shown them.
It certainly is no accident that we end our function each year with Bob Marley’s anthem “One Love” – it expresses so wonderfully the force which propels us forward: the love, the heart, the coming together. And when times are tough, and obstacles present themselves, we can go back to the New Testament to reorient ourselves as to how to be successful. “Love is patient…….does not boast…..keeps no records of wrongs….always hopes….always perseveres.”
My father loved that chapter. He even used it when he was courting my mother. It was read at their wedding, and at his memorial service. There are many messages in the chapter to remind us not to get too full of ourselves, but to be humble and honor each other with love. It warns us that even if we do acts of charity and generosity, if we do it without love, we gain nothing.
So this Friday morning, I would like once more to thank everyone who participated in yet another successful weekend. You can be confident that you have contributed in a very meaningful way to the future of Jamaica through its young people. And in doing it with love, you have multiplied the gifts tenfold.
One Love Family! Although all of the hardworking members of the South Florida Chapter are exhausted, we are also on a high, lifted up by the support and love of our huge family.
“…but the greatest of these is Love.”