Sunday, May 16, 2010

Ph.D Piled Higher and Deeper?

As we sat in the frigid gymnasium listening to the governor drone on about the importance of morals and religion in today's politics, I couldn't help but to let my thoughts wander. Today was the ceremony of my niece and her classmates completing their four years of higher education. Today, my niece will graduate with her Bachelors of Science in Education. Yep, like me, my niece has fulfilled her dreams of becoming a teacher.
Watching the graduates, as well as the gymnasium full of spectators, I wondered exactly how important our education is. The speaker jokingly made a remark of whether the students graduated cum laude, magna cum laude, summa cum laude, or even "thank the Good Laude!" the graduates were to be commended. Exactly who thought that up? Why are Latin honors so important? Does it matter?
I think of the Bible's thoughts of our self identity. We are a child of God, first and foremost. That's the only ID that has ever meant anything to me. I remember when I graduated from the university, I also received some sort of "Cum laude", but for the life of me, I don't remember which one. It wasn't really all that important. What was important was that I get the opportunity to share with the students, the knowledge I have gained, and most important, the opportunity to share my Jesus with them.

Max Lucado writes a series of children's books staring the Wimmericks, and one such book has his characters running around, posting gray dots or gold stars on each other.  A gold star if the Wimmerick was super pretty, talented, or skillful, and a gray dot if the said Wimmerick were of lowly character. The thing is, throughout the story, some of the townspeople simply gave dots or stars based on what the Wimmerick already had. If the Wimmerick already had a lot of gray dots, well, obviously, they must be losers, so other Wimmericks would simply add their gray dots to them. Same with gold stars. The only Wimmerick that seemed to be immune was Lucinda. Whenever folks tried to stick either a gold star or a gray dot on her, the stickers simply fell off. Lucinda had learned what humans need to learn--the only opinion that matters is that of our Creator. He loves us unconditionally. We need no other gold stars or gray dots--our Heavenly Father has given us His love in the person of Christ Jesus.
With such a love as our Father has for us, why then, do we stress so much whenever someone gives us their proverbial "gray dot"? Or why do we gloat when we get a "Gold Star"?

The audience was a myriad of color, as the different fashions drifted across the gym. There were people dressed in their Sunday finery, there were the casual jeans and polo shirt dressed, there were some of the bold colors represented the foreign countries in attendance.
Mind you, I am not being anti-educational here. On the contrary, I am very pro-educational. If you are reading this, thank a teacher.
Be the best that you can be. Why, so that someone can heap Gold Stars on you? No... be the best you can be, simply so you can share God with others.
The only thing that counts, is faith, expressing itself in love.

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