I attended a high school graduation dinner this evening whereby one of my former athletes and her family celebrated her graduation from high school and her moving on to college. I have attended several of these through the years and I each has its own unique attributes but all involve the gathering of friends and mentors most of whom have had an impact on the life of the athlete being recognized. I am honored to be asked to attend and I really enjoy watching and listening to the journey which the family has navigated to bring the athlete to this point. I, like the parents, realize the next step in the journey will play an instrumental role in the student's continued development as a young adult.
For many students, the next step is college, military or trade school. This is where the athlete will begin the process to a vocation. I always say a little prayer for the athlete and it goes like this, "Please Father, watch over (Athlete) and continue to be with them as they continue to grow. I pray they will not lean on the understanding of themselves, their peers or the faculty which will all try to influence them in the coming years. I pray they will instead turn to you and your word when they desire to seek wisdom."
Like many parents today, I am finding our institutions of education to be lacking in substance and filling the void with over priced platitudes. They are not challenging students as much as they are pushing agendas. Far to often, higher education does not challenge the student's worldview and instead replaces it with doctrinal group think. However, degrees and certificates are requisite for achieving certain vocational goals and therefore must be acquired. I remember a line from one of the best cinematic parodies of higher education, Animal House. "Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son." Can I get an Amen? The Dean who issues this statement to the student may have done so in jest but in reality if your pursuit of knowledge leaves you fat, drunk and stupid then you are missing the mark in both the secular and spiritual worlds.
In Proverbs 3:5-6, we are instructed "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths." As Christians, we should seek God and place his words above those of man. We are to use his standards as the basis for measuring all knowledge we process so that when we are weighed and measured we will not be found lacking. I far to often jettison God's word and allow secular constructs to form the basis of my understanding when I should be leaning on His understanding and not my own.
I am blessed to coach amazing Christian athletes whom I know will do their part to change the world. I know many will become the Christian warriors which are needed in colleges and trade schools. I will continue to pray they lean on God and seek his counsel because fat, drunk and stupid is really no way to go through life.