“…Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7b-8
About two years ago, I graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. Last month, my brother graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Anthropology. One of my sisters has been in college a year and my other sister will start in a couple of years. Our parents were professional teachers, and thus instilled in us a value for education.
But what is the value of education? I think chiefly education is to train you for life. It is valuable because it enables you to better understand the world and to contribute to it. God made the world for us to explore, and an education helps us do that. Now that my brother and I have graduated, we are supposed to be better citizens, with our studies having equipped us to deal with life’s challenges.
In many ways, our lives themselves are training. While life now is important, it is not nearly as important as the life to come. As Paul explains in 1st Timothy 4, we will someday graduate to an eternal life, and so it is important to train for that future life. Our lives now teach us lessons that will prepare us for our eternity. So I ask myself, am I ready to graduate? Will I pass the test and live in the coming Kingdom? If I, and if you, trust in the work that Christ already did, then the answer is yes. Christ graduated a life on earth with honors, and he freely passes on those honors to us. So we can, if we have received those honors, say that yes, indeed, we will graduate.
Well, this is it. I’ve graduated. Time to face the big, mean world. For a year. I plan to start grad school next fall. But, in the mean time, it means finding work, getting a car, paying off student loans. At this point I’m still processing it all, so I don’t have anything profound to say. God has blessed me with an intellect and mind for academia, a state to support someone like me who cannot afford to pay much for education, and loving family and friends to support me. For those who want to know, I got a 3.898 GPA. Not too bad. I’ve got some posts coming up, if I can tear myself away from Wikipedia.
Wow! This past week has been quite intense. First off, I got a summer job in the kitchen at Jacob’s Pillow Dance. If you are unfamiliar with Jacob’s Pillow, it is an internationally acclaimed dance school in Becket, Mass., and holds an annual festival in the summer. I have a full time schedule, so this week I’ve been trying to get adjusted to the schedule and become oriented with the layout of the kitchen and what my job entails. But, that is just the beginning of the excitement.
On Friday, June 1st, I graduated from Berkshire Community College! I now hold an Associates’ Degree in Liberal Arts, and plan to transfer to UMass Amherst. Victoria Kennedy, wife of late Senator Ted Kennedy, was the commencement speaker. I do not agree with most of her (and her late husband’s) politics and her stance on abortion, but it was still neat to have a major public figure give the speech.
But, even more exciting, was that today my brother Karl was baptized! He made a profession of faith months ago, but we waited until the weather was warmer to hold this ordinance. Another member of our church, Lila, also was baptized, as though she has proclaimed Christianity for years, she had no recollection or records of being baptized. In answer to a good conscience, she wanted to ensure that her profession was made public. It is very exciting for me to welcome my brother into the body of Christ, and see a fellow Christian confirm their faith and obey the Scriptural commandment to baptize.