Head Prefect’s Charge

Abby Trusler, Cambridge Class of 2019 and Head Prefect, gave the following charge to Cambridge at Class Night on May 17, 2019.

I’ll never forget where I was the day I learned about The Cambridge School of Dallas. It was my freshman year, right after my ballet recital on a Saturday in May.  My parents and I were eating at Fireside Pies.  Randomly, my mom asked me, “If you could change anything about your school, what would it be?” I sat there for a second and thought about it.  Then, I responded, “Well, my math teacher is kind of hard to understand and I really don’t like the new way they are teaching math.. And my history teacher doesn’t really seem to care much or want to be bothered outside of class.”  My mother quickly responded with “What if I said that could be changed?  Have you ever heard of The Cambridge School of Dallas?” I replied, no I had not – what is that?… Well I’d get to know it soon enough, as my parents told me I’d be visiting the following Monday and that I would be transferring to Cambridge the following school year. I could not believe my ears!!  I had gone to Highland Park schools ever since kindergarten and I live literally 6 houses down from the high school – not to mention my mother and my uncle graduated from HPHS years ago.  I was so angry because I had such a passion to stay at my old school with my friends I had known my whole life.

My visit at Cambridge was honestly quite terrible, as I had set my mind against it.  When I returned home that afternoon following my visit, I wrote a petition which stated that I should not be forced to attend Cambridge, and I should be allowed to finish my high school education at HPHS.  The next day I began circulating my petition, and, to my surprise, I actually got more than 300 signatures (more than half the people in my grade of 500 people).  It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have a passion for the endeavor. I thought for sure that would convince my parents to leave well enough alone, but they felt as strongly about my leaving to attend Cambridge as I did about staying at HPHS… and well, you know who won that battle…

In moving to my new school, I quickly learned that Cambridge’s motto is Academic Discipleship: Fostering a Love of Learning with a Passion for Jesus Christ.  I have spent the last three years gaining a deeper understanding of this motto without really realizing that was happening until I have thought about it over the last few months – a true credit to Cambridge for carrying it out very subtly and yet very intentionally in all they do.  While I could speak volumes about all aspects of this motto – I will save that for your next Faith & Culture series.  I would love to address the last part which states “….with a passion for Jesus Christ”.

I have always understood passion as something that ignites a fire from within, something that gets you emotionally charged and something that moves you to action most of the time.  But I actually looked up the definition of passion and while it is defined as strong and barely controllable emotion, it actually comes from the Greek root path which means“to suffer”.  The first thing that came to mind is the Passion of the Christ and Easter or Holy Week being also being called Passion Week.  So clearly both definitions are exemplified in Christ and His great love, or passion, for us.  But how does that apply to us in our use of the word on a daily basis? 

After thinking about how I use the term and have heard it used, I realize that we typically use the word to indicate a love of  something in a positive way – a passion for film, or a passion to promote a charitable cause.  However, very rarely does that sort of “passion” reach a level where that person is willing to suffer.  It may reach a level where that person is willing to sacrifice their time, money and energy, but that is hardly the same as willing suffering.  That is, it’s one thing to suffer when you are a victim and have no control over the situation; it’s an entirely different thing to be willing to suffer for a cause and become a victor.  The only times you can do this is when your foremost passion in your life is Jesus Christ.  When your true, utmost passion is for Him who created you, loves you and died for you,  there will be suffering.  You will suffer because you will have times when others will disagree with you, try to stop you, make fun of you or even ostracize you…maybe even hate you. There will be times you may feel like you are the only one in the world who feels that much passion.  And yet, when those passions that you are following are put in your heart by the Lord Himself in order to glorify Him, He will give you strength to stand strong. And in so doing, we are honoring  Him.  We are carrying out the desires, the passions of His heart.

Looking back at my Cambridge testimony, I realize now that though I considered myself a passionate person at the time, those so called passions were actually just fear of change, being stubborn and wanting control.  Once I came to Cambridge, among the many priceless lessons learned through many wonderful professors and administrators, I learned that true passion only comes FROM the Lord and before that can happen, it comes from us having a passion FOR the Lord.

So my charge to you, Cambridge, is to be passionate.   Be passionate for Christ.  Passionate to glorify Him above all else – even if that requires suffering for Him as he suffered for us on the cross.  Then, He that created you will put other passions in you but you will always know if its a true passion from the Lord or simply something you love to do, based on your willingness to suffer.

Psalm 73:25-26 says “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

And as such, Cambridge, have a PASSION for Jesus Christ… in learning, in leading, in change and in everything you do.  God bless you all and thank you for teaching me this and so much else all over the last three years.