Standing in line at the bottom of the stairs. Waiting in anticipation. Then, finally hearing my name, "John David Telgren..." Walking across the stage, receiving my certificate with the appropriate hand and shaking hands with the appropriate hand. Moving my tassel as I walked off the stage. I remember the thrill of graduation from college. My education was "complete" and I was going on to new things. Life was full of possibilities. But this is just one of many graduations. Whether it was high school, college, military, graduate school, or a new certification of some sort, education and skill attainment are life-long ventures. It seems that we are always preparing ourselves for something more.
What is it that we are preparing for? What is all this education and training for? What is its purpose? Surely it has to be more than just getting a decent job and making a decent wage. Yet, that seems to be the consensus of a lot of people today.
I am struck by the fact that there was a time when many viewed the purpose of education in a much more holistic way. Education was not merely about obtaining certain knowledge or skill in order to perform a job. Education involved learning to master the basic tools of learning, to learn how to think and evaluate. Education involved the development of moral and ethical character. It involved intellectual and spiritual development. The educational establishment was not to replace the home or the parents, but to augment it as a partner. In other words, schools were not a government institution, but an extension of the home. After all, by God's design, parents have the ultimate responsibility to educate and train their children and not abdicate that responsibility to someone else.
I am also struck by the fact that the concept of a "values free education" in completely foreign to the Bible. There is no such animal. Whether stated or not, all education is built on certain values. By God's design, those values are to be built on God's purposes. Students and parents alike need to be aware of this and learn to evaluate all things according to a biblical view of the world.
This means that education is never ending. All understanding and knowledge needs to be illuminated by the truth as God has revealed it in his word. This will enable you to avoid being duped by the godless philosophies of the world that underlie many of the social issues of today. This will enable you to see the challenges and issues clearly and to be able to articulate a coherent and workable philosophy based on the design of the one who created everything. This will enable you to carry out the purposes for which you have been created. This will enable you to truly graduate.
Yes, the day is coming. The final graduation to glory when God will call your name. The time when you will walk off of this stage into eternity. The time where there will no longer be any curse, when sin and death has been thrown in the lake of fire, when there will be no more mourning, crying, death, or pain, when you will see Him face to face, and when you will fulfill the purpose for which you were created, to have dominion and reign with him forever and ever.
That graduation day is what we are ultimately working for.