Of Mortar Boards & Life

First, an update on Dennis. For those who have been praying, thank you.  It appears Dennis needed all the prayers he could get.  The knee surgery was a success, but in recovery Dennis “crashed” as he put it in his very short note to me the other day.  He was transferred to ICU where he coded several more times.  His wife and sister were called, and according to Dennis every chaplain on staff as well to pray.  By the Grace of God he pulled through.  He is now at home but his computer time is limited (and his otherwise questionable spelling abilities are even more questionable under the painkillers).  However, he is alive and hopes to be back with us soon. Thank you so much for all the prayers sent his way!

Between now and when Dennis comes back, I need your help with what to post on Tuesdays & Wednesdays.  I can either finish the Bible Study book “Theirs is the Kingdom,” or I can post one of my here-to-for unpublished novels  (linking to it from a different blog) for you to read.  Vote in the comments section!

And now, onto more fun…

By:  Staci Stallings

I don’t know what it’s like in your life right now.  Mine is filled with one thing:  GRADUATIONS!

I’m not totally sure how this happened, but my nephew graduated from college, my niece graduated from college, my nephew and godson is graduating from high school (God willing and the creek don’t rise!), one of my VBS kids is graduating from high school, my oldest is graduating from middle school, and my middle one is graduating from fifth grade, leaving the school she’s been at for six years.

That’s a LOT of graduations to pack into one little month!

During the first graduation I attended, the school had printed a history of the mortar board, which I cannot find duplicated anywhere else, but one that really made me think about this whole business of graduating differently.

The story in the program went something like this:

In ancient Greece there was a famous teacher who came to one of the big cities.  He attracted many of the upper class young men to come and study with him.  After a few years, it came time for the students to move on, out into the world instead of staying at his side learning.  So a graduation was planned.  The parents of the young men were very pleased with themselves and their sons and they wanted to show off their sons’ educations to the world.  Happy and chattering, they gathered, ready to witness the coming of age of their children, to launch them into society as leaders.  Gasps were heard throughout the crowd, however, when the young men entered, each wearing a mortar board–the symbol not of the elite but of the working class.

The professor hearing the gasps of disbelief, bordering on outrage, quickly took to the front to explain.  “Before you,” he said, “are your young men.  They have come and studied.  They have learned much and are now ready to go out into the world.  You may wonder at their attire, particularly the mortar board that they wear.  Understand I chose this symbol on purpose because these young men are no longer students.  They are now the builders of our world.  They will build with their minds and their hearts.  They will build the world that we will live in and that which our grandchildren and great-grand children after that will live.”

Now, I don’t know if that story is true, but it brought tears to my eyes.

These graduates before us today ARE the builders of tomorrow.  They will literally build the world we will all live in.

If you are fortunate enough to go to a graduation, please remember this little story and say a prayer for these builders.  Their task is great, but with God on their sides and in their hearts, the world they build will be better than the one they were born into.

Congratulations to all the graduates out there!

May God be with you as you begin the next chapter of your life!


One Response to Of Mortar Boards & Life

  1. Peg Phifer says:

    Staci, thanks for the update on Dennis, first of all. Our God is so awesome! Next, as to topics for the interim, I hesitate to choose one over the other–I enjoy your Bible studies. But I also adore your fiction. So, whichever the majority go for, I’m in. 🙂


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