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Chaplain's Chat 20th September 2017

It seems hard to believe that examination season is fast approaching again. Time certainly flies! The approach of examinations together with all of the associated pressures brings on a time when many of our students will be subject to very understandable stresses and strains. Being individuals, the students will handle these pressures in different ways. Some will sail through whilst others may become quite stressed and agitated, even mentally exhausted.  I often counsel students that, particularly at times such as these, it is imperative that they take some “me” time to rest, reflect, replenish and recharge so that they can offer their best in whatever they are doing. However, in a busy world with the prevalence of so much ambient noise the question becomes how and where one can find quiet “me” time.

Year 11 and 12 students have a Meditation unit as part of their Beliefs and Values Curriculum. In this unit, we endeavour to help our students to find quiet spaces even when there may not be a quiet environment around them. The example that I often use is my memory of having spent time hiking and camping in remote game parks in South Africa. The remoteness of locations was misleading. We often found that at night when all was ‘still’, the “silence was deafening!” The noises of the crickets, the frogs, the distant lions, and the trees and bushes rustling in the gentle breeze actually made for a cacophony that was quite amazing. Where then, does one find quietness and stillness if it cannot even be found in the remoteness of deepest Africa? The answer to this question is that it is found within oneself. With the right inclination, time and practice, one can centre down, push the ambient noises from our minds, quieten the mind itself that may be racing with a myriad of thoughts, and just be still. Students find this hard to achieve at first. However, the rewards of getting it right can be life changing. 

Dare I say that this is true for all of us as well. We should all take time to slow down and to rest, reflect, replenish and recharge. If anyone finds this idea attractive but does not know how to start or where to look for helpful resources, please feel free to contact me through the School.

So as our students prepare for the examinations through study, hard work, dedication and perhaps even meditation, these are simple prayers that can also be used:
Grant me peace, Lord, as I open my books and notes. Open my mind to the things that I am studying.  Help me to understand the work, as I offer you my best effort in studying for the examinations. I offer this time and this prayer in Your Holy Name. Amen.

This is a prayer that can be prayed when going into the examinations:
Lord God, I pray that my mind might be inspired for the exam I am about to write. Grant me peace so that I can do the best that I possibly can. May I be able to give a true record of what I have learnt. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I found these prayers on the following website: http://chapel.acadiau.ca/Prayer.html - It has other prayers that may be useful.

Every blessing to all our students who will be writing examinations! Have a good holiday with your families.

God bless
Reverend Dave