A few years ago I had the honor of being asked to speak at a graduation ceremony for two of my fellow home school friends, Spencer and Elizabeth. I thought since it is graduation season perhaps I would share with you some of what I shared with them that day. The following is excerpted from the thoughts I penned for that event.
“I feel both honored and humbled to be standing before you here today. This is a position in which I am accustomed to seeing others stand, others of greater age, greater wisdom, broader life experiences; people such as my father and mother and other guest speakers here today. Even so, I am very grateful to be a part of this special occasion; the celebration of the educational accomplishments of two very special young people.
As they have become young adults I have seen demonstrated in both of them: …faithfulness to the work of the Lord (very rarely are they absent from any church services or Sunday morning Bible study classes)…initiative and eagerness to lend their strengths and abilities to church work projects…a servant spirit (ministering to the needs of others)…motivation in their aspirations following high school (which I understand include pursuing college educations for both in the medical field). I have no doubt that you are both capable of pursuing the highest goals available to you and reaching any of them quite aptly.
It is evident to all of us here today that this graduation celebration is decidedly unique from probably all other commencement exercises you have attended recently. That we are here to honor these two young people alone and not a large assembly of graduates, speaks of families who have chosen to take…
…a road less traveled
…a path more challenging, but as a fellow veteran of your ranks of education,
…definitely a course most rewarding!
Being homeschooled does not make you better than any other person; it should make you more able to appreciate the “better in the other person.
Being homeschooled does not guarantee the highest intelligence quotient; it should guarantee the highest integrity quotient, though.
Being homeschooled does not ensure that you will be among the wealthiest of people; it should place you among the wisest, however.
Being homeschooled does not mean that you have everything in life figured out; but it should equip you with the tools to do so.
Being homeschooled does not mean that you are socially inept; rather, it should enable you to stand alone when the crowd chooses a path less than best.
Being homeschool does not make you superior; but it should yield you the highest “life percentage rate” in what it means to be set apart for the Lord’s highest use.
Homeschooling is not about producing genuises; but it is about developing individual life callings and gifts placed there by God.
Homeschooling is not all about academics; but it should be all about relationships.
Homeschool graduations are not about the end of learning; rather they are about entering a more mature season of life equipped to learn everything you will need to know for your future.
The kind of people who understand and reap the benefits from the principles I have just mentioned, homeschooled or not, are the kinds of minds that pursue truth, at any cost. These kinds of minds think outside the box of what society sets forth as “normal”. These kinds of minds belong to people like the parents of these graduates and I believe, too, now, Elizabeth and Spencer.
These kinds of minds have chosen to take on the “Mind of Christ”. What an undertaking. What an impossibility in human effort alone. What a possibility when we allow Christ to transform and renew our minds rather than cowardly conforming to the world’s standards of thinking.
It was said by Charles “Tremendous” Jones that, “You are the same today that you are going to be five years from now except for two things; the people with whom you associate and the books you read.” The Bible profoundly supports both these principles; the first in Proverbs 13:20.
“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools will be destroyed.”
As for the knowledge you put in your head, Psalm 119:97-100 eloquently states,
“O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Thou through my commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies; for they are ever with me. I have more understanding than my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep thy precepts.”
So, if you plan to become great:
Determine ever so wisely to expose yourslef to people who have learned what it truly means to be great…in God’s eyes;
Purpose to carefully choose reading material that challenges you, with the wisdom of God and not man, to achieve the highest heights in life.
If I could only successfully convey one thought to you today, it would be to:
Pursue God and His truth (the truth of Who He really is).
He is the One Being above all other persons that will change you in ways you never dreamed imaginable…and His word alone is the one book above all others in the library that will give you the truth…the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
In your pursuit of learning, learn about the One Who created everything about which there is to learn.
In your attempts to understand the mysteries and marvels of the world around you, ask God to give you a glimpse of His glory that designed it all.
In your acquisition of knowledge, seek to know deeply, the One Who gives wisdom, without which knowledge is empty.
He is before all things and by Him all things consist.
Revel in His unsearchable ways.
Marvel at His omnipotence.
Be reverend before His holiness.
Be satisfied with an unsatisfied satisfaction until you awake in His likeness.
Seek the applause of Heaven.
Seek His stamp of approval – “approved unto God” [II Timothy 2:15]
Nothing can be more satisfying that to know you are living within the perfect will of God. “Live to the hilt, every experience you believe to be the will of God”, missionary Jim Elliot once said.
Dream big because with God, all things are possilbe.
Exchange your dreams for God’s because His ways are higher than yours.
Expect adventure because God is the God of surprises!
I, for one, expect no less than the best from you because I expect no less than Gods’ best for you and your deliberate pursuit of that.