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Head of School Update: Friday, February 1, 2019

Dear JH Classical Academy Families, 

A new friend, a retired US Navy officer who has been extra-ordinarily kind to JH Classical Academy, told me I must read The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Within days, a long-time mentor was explaining a tactical concept to me and referenced Sun Tzu’s strategies of warfare. Clearly I needed to purchase this book and become better equipped for the battles we face! Perhaps I could learn something from an expert on physical warfare and apply those principles to spiritual warfare?

The Art of War
 is one of the world’s most influential books on military strategy. Written well over two thousand years ago in ancient China, its relevance has been reconfirmed by commanders in every century. Sun Tzu avoids the particular and takes the high ground to provide general insights, emphasizing the tricky and devious nature of war.  Of utmost importance is knowing your enemy, his plans, forms, and dispositions.  “Know your enemy and know yourself, and fight a hundred battles without danger,” Sun Tzu observed. “Know yourself but not your enemy, and win one battle but lose another.”
Next, Sun Tzu dwells on the importance of knowing yourself and the qualities of your commander. “The commander stands for the virtues of wisdom, sincerely, benevolence, courage and strictness.”  Discipline in The Art of War is the care, consistency, and consideration with which people are treated by their commander if they are to give their best.  Our commander is God. His character is elucidated in the Scriptures as a caring and compassionate father who disciplines his children in love. He is trustworthy; we are not.
Factors relevant to winning a battle include understanding the terrain better than the enemy. Preparing for a variety of enemy responses, not just the most likely, is a central part of the planning process. The key is to continually adjust tactics and avoid predictability. Sun Tzu lists a variety of stratagems designed to confuse or mislead the enemy: “So when you are capable, appear to be incapable.” “When you are far away, appear to be nearby.” “If the enemy is relaxed, wear him out.” “Sow confusion, and then take him.”
A spiritual warrior must not be ignorant of the enemy’s devices but mustn’t become overly occupied with the enemy and lose faith, for Paul writes to the Corinthians, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”  God’s divinely revealed truth is the ultimate weapon in our arsenal. The enemy hates truth, for truth will eventually bring ungodly actions into the light. 
Sun Tzu concurs, “All armies prefer high ground to low, and sunny places to dark.” He also advised that the best strategy is the one that delivers the victory without fighting. “Troops that bring the enemy to heel without fighting at all – that is ideal.” Let’s continue to take the high ground in our battle for the future of our school and stay working in the light!
Onward and Upward,  
Mrs. Polly J. Friess
Head of School

Mountain Range


Jackson Hole Classical Academy
P.O. Box 7466
Jackson, WY 83002
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(307) 690-8396
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