Having a vision of what we want to accomplish is an absolute necessity to keep before us as we labor together to achieve our goals. I think of Paul exhorting the Corinthians by likening their Christian walk to running a race for a prize. He gave them a glimpse into the mindset that made the great apostle Paul a hero of faith. In Paul’s very next breath he not only reveals that was the analogy of his life, but he talks about that vision driving him to fight (the fight of faith), and to overcome his flesh. Paul reframed his personal struggles in light of the big picture, a vision which made all he endured worth it. Paul reflected the life of Jesus Christ, “Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV). So what does this have to do with an education at Fortis Academy? It is a challenge to us to remember the value and worth of a Fortis Education as we educate and disciple our sons and daughters for the glory of God. The mission of our school is counter cultural in many ways, yet it is also the hope for our future.
The University Model was birthed out of a passion to restore the family unit while providing excellence in education (true education that includes academics, faith and virtue). The easier road is to hand our children over to a system that takes away our responsibility to educate our children, or to completely homeschool our children where we do not have to face the challenge of working together in covenant Christian community. Our model school is difficult, just like marriage is difficult, but it is beautiful as well because we are a covenant community in the presence of God that is working together to raise our children in the fear and wisdom of God. All of the challenges we face is worth it when we keep the Fortis Graduate before our eyes.
Classical education demands that we teach our children to think in a culture that focuses on amusement (amusement literally means that which is contrary to thinking). The fall of the Roman empire was intricately connected to its policy of “bread and circuses.” That was a policy of giving the masses food and entertainment so that they could control them, yet the sinful carnal behavior that it fostered both in the totalitarian regime and among the masses was the seedbed of Rome’s fall. Our form of education, rooted in the ecclesiastical tradition, teaches thinking, virtue, self-discipline and faith. It focuses on academic rigor that engages in the great conversation of the Western tradition with the conviction that the end result will be a more satisfying and fulfilling life. It is the life that wins the prize. While others play games, the gold medalist trains for the race, and though the journey is more difficult, in the end it is more satisfying and successful path in life. Keeping the prize of a Fortis graduate before us as we wrestle with a culture that seeks to keep our children irresponsible and living for the flesh is of utmost importance.
As we are all considering another year at Fortis, I encourage everyone to take a moment to dream about our Children’s future and the world they will inherit. I dream of all of our children