Throughout my years in the Upper School, a lot has changed. I have seen teachers come and go. I have experienced what it was like to be the youngest and now the oldest among all grades. I have gone from modular classrooms to a beautifully designed, spacious building. Before the move to our current building, one tradition I always loved was the monthly Upper School chapel.
These days the logistics of over a hundred students crossing Cahaba Valley Trace has made having our traditional chapels more difficult. However, we now have what are called “atrium chapels.” As the name suggests, these occur in the atrium. They are held every Wednesday at the very beginning of tutorial and consist of a prayer, song of worship, reading from Scripture, or brief message of encouragement. But not everyone sees the value in this.
Because these chapels are very short compared to what we have done in the past, many wonder if it is even worth having them. Are we simply wasting study time just to stand in the atrium for a few minutes to sing a song?
Adapting to change over the years has allowed me to realize what is truly important in life. My answer to the question concerning atrium chapels would be this: While the time is brief, the fruit can still be abundant. If it is our aim to cultivate a love for truth, beauty, and goodness to flourish, how can we not spend time listening to the Word of our creator?
Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “Let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works not neglecting to meet together…” This verse should push us to take a step back and realize why we are having these chapels. They are an act of praise, worship, and admiration of our King. As a school with a foundation of faith, we must realize the responsibility we have to cultivate an environment where our faith can thrive.
The mere fact that these chapels are only a few minutes should not take away from their significance. 2 Peter 3:8 states,”But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” The potential issue of time that we see is not a concern to the Lord. His concern is for our hearts, and by spending time in prayer and worship, we are able to remember what is truly important.
My hope is that these chapels will no longer be seen as a waste of time. My prayer is that they would allow us to be known as a school that enjoys praising God, even if just for a few minutes.
-Olivia Godfrey (Class of 2016)