Last week (17th – 21st) was Zion’s 1st annual safety week – a time when we take extra time to ensure that all of the students know the proper procedures for all of our “crisis management” protocols that we have in place to keep our students safe. After all, there are fires to the left of us and hurricanes to the right. Here we are – stuck in the middle again.
We started the week with fire drills, which are old hat for most and have been done routinely enough in the past that they are more of an extra 5-minute break from classwork. Of course, our transfer students and new little ones were brand new to the procedure but nailed it as if they had been doing it for years.
Wednesday saw our first tornado drill which was a little more intensive. Since this was something that hadn’t been done in a while, we took some extra time to talk about the whats and the whys of the procedure.
Thursday and Friday were new for all of us and saw us doing our first lockdown drills ever. (We were fortunate enough to have Officer Bones come in this summer and help the staff develop a “active shooter” protocol along with what we should expect if it were ever to actually happen.) We were anticipating a lot of tears, but because of some excellent communication between the teachers/parents and students, there wasn’t a tear all week. I even heard a “That was AWESOME!” after our lockdown drill.
So, while the kids may have dominated the week and displayed some serious “BE STRONG, BE BRAVE, BE FEARLESS” vibes, the reasons we do these drills have not escaped the staff.
I remember the good old days, when all a parent had to worry about were fires and tornadoes – those unavoidable forces of nature that just happen sometimes. I remember being a kid in these same halls, assuming the “duck and cover” position against brick walls for tornado drills and moseying out to the cemetery every so often for a routine fire drill. Of course, for a kid, it becomes more of a quick 5-minute recess right in the middle of a spelling test, rather than practicing for a life or death situation.
Hopefully, the students still feel this way. But the reality is that being a student or teacher in today’s world means they have the added bonus of the possibility of an “active shooter” and need to plan accordingly.
Which brings us to Joshua and God’s relentless quest to make sure Joshua knew that he was in good hands. Remember God said “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
When it comes to life these days we can use all sorts of slogans and phrases to get our point across. Benjamin Franklin would tell us that “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Nike would tell you to “just do it.” Anyone not living under a rock will tell you that “practice makes perfect” and John Hiatt would tell us to “have a little faith”.
I think there’s truth in all of it personally. I believe that “practice makes perfect” so we’re gonna “just do it” over and over again, because “failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” But, in the end, we also need to “have a little faith” that God is with us wherever we go and will protect us in every “crisis”.