14 Sep A Word From Dr. Satterly—September 14, 2023
Dear WA Community,
Over the years, our family has developed a kind of short-hand and sayings that both reflect our culture and values. One of those sayings is “normal is just a setting on the dryer.” While that colloquialism captures a number of different ideas, it often is our way of saying that normal really is a bit relative. For example, when our children were young, and we were struggling to parent well, a normal dinner looked nothing like a normal dinner for our empty-nester status today.
From a more spiritual point of view, “Normal is just a setting on the dryer” is also a way to remind us to take nothing for granted – that God’s provision is always perfect. As humans, we tend to try and normalize stuff, it is part of our nature as image-bearers and as stewards of God’s creation. Yet, there is nothing normal about how God cares for us. His love for us is extraordinary and unique.
Why the focus on this idea of “normal?” Partly because as the school year progresses, we settle into routines and patterns. We overlook, take for granted, and forget what God has done and is doing. We don’t look to the horizon to see what God will do. Instead, we just plod along. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes routines and patterns are helpful. We need rhythm and predictability, but not at the expense of wonder and thanksgiving.
Last week, I started meeting with our new faculty and staff for a cup of coffee. Usually, it takes a couple of these sessions before the word gets out that it is safe to come to the Headmaster’s office, but these meetings are one way that I am reminded about this “normal” issue. Take our new Director of Security, Steve Feeley, for example. Actually, he wasn’t even in my office. I stopped by to check in with him on day two of his time with us—I wanted to make sure he came back to work. Instead of encouraging him, I was the one receiving the blessing as Steve shared just how different is the Westminster Academy culture. Another, a former public school teacher, told me that she expected it to be different but that her experience was even so much better. Our annual New Parent Breakfast offers a similar experience year in and year out.
My point is that for more than five decades, God has extended His hand over Westminster Academy, and there is no sign of that changing. In His Providence, He has chosen to use this particular campus to advance the Kingdom. There is nothing normal about that because, after all, normal is just a setting on the dryer.
To God be the Glory!
Dr. Joel Satterly