Unwritten Report Cards

By Richard TenElshof

Shortly, all of us, students, staff, and principal will come to the end of another year, the Lord willing. Evaluations will be made, some written, some not. Some of you have done very well in certain academic areas, whether it be science, social studies, technology, or music, Some of you will remember your classes with a sense of accomplishment, others with a sense of frustration. As you continue in life, you will find out that what you do is important, but how you do it is equally important. The Christian perspective which has been laid down in this school is needed as a positive influence in every area of life. In Washington recently, some of us were challenged to share our Biblical values with a world, in which the increasing majority doesn’t share many of our views. With the Lord’s blessing, if we are not a positive influence, what is the alternative to be?

I hope your academic growth is put to good use in your future life. But there are other things which our school has tried to teach. Let’s think for a few minutes about evaluations which will not be written down, but which could be more important, and then you ask yourself, "Pass or Fail?" Let’s start with the topic of "work." We know that work is not the result of sin. In fact, to be industrious is praised in Scripture. Did you do your work with a certain amount of pleasure or did you do it only because you had to, and then just as little as you could get away with? Whatever your hand found to do, did you do it with your might this year? "Be not slothful in business, but fervent in Spirit, serving the Lord." Have you worked, "as to the Lord" this year, or simply for yourself, your teacher, or employer? Have you begun to realize that your help is to be found in God alone, or are you still relying on your own strength’? Did you do your work without being constantly reminded’? Have you improved your ability to concentrate, to stick with a task, to see a job done to completion, instead of being easily distracted, and then not finishing the job? Have you gained any confidence in your ability to do work? Have you volunteered to do any work this year? Was there work that you did, simply because that was the right thing to do’? You didn’t get paid, no one else necessarily knew about it - around the school, in your neighborhood - because it was the right thing. Have you been involved in your community? "Pass or Fail?"

Along that same line, do you realize that the essence of Christianity is "service’?" "He that would be greatest among you, let him be as one that serves." What have you done for your classmates, your friends, your enemies...for your teacher, your mother, your grandparents, or anyone else that the Lord placed in your path? If someone dropped a book in the hallway, did you pick it up, or step on it’? The pop can that someone left - did you ignore it, kick it, or pick it up and dispose of it appropriately? The person that was struggling emotionally - were you there to help’? Did you try to correct in love, when necessary, or did you add insult to injury? Your parents have sacrificed much, because they cared about you. Show that same kind of care and concern for others, and not simply in an outward way. Is the word "I" still number one in your life, or have you learned to be God and other-person centered? "Pass or Fail?"

Then there are social relationships. How well you get along with others may be very important, but have you learned to stand alone? When your peer group went one way, did you have the conviction to go the other way, if necessary? How about courtesy? Are you still talking through the instructors, or have you learned when to speak and when not to? Have you been respectful to those in authority? Have you learned obedience to rules and regulations? All jobs have them. What about your organizational skills and management of your time’~ Have you learned to deal correctly with frustrations, stress, joys and disappointments? Have you learned what James says, "Let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath’?" Have you kept your mind and body fit? Have you been wasteful, not only of your time, but also of your blessings and the natural resources which God gives? Do you litter? Were those your Big Mac wrappers in the student parking lot? Have you learned to be dependable, prompt, trustworthy? Have you finished your homework on time? Have you done the things you said you would do? How well have you gotten along, not only at school. but at home? Have you learned to communicate openly and lovingly with your parents and teachers? "Pass or Fail’?"

How do you feel about the materialism of this life? The world says, "Get." Scripture says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you." "It is more blessed to give than to receive" for "a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses." There are many things in life which your parents could have gotten in the past 12 or 13 years, but they chose to give you the best they could. They wanted to give you a God-centered education. This was not something you could buy at the mall, not something to put in your bedroom or your car, but something to build your life on. As parents and staff, we have tried to point you toward some- thing that you can live and die with. Have you learned the lesson well? Are you able to "go and do likewise?"

Have you come to realize what is valuable in life and what is necessary to get it’? Have you developed uncompromising Biblical convictions about life and death, or have you joined the world of people who have no solid principles? Have you come to realize the seriousness of life and death, or do you simply "eat and drink and rise up to play?" Have you learned the value of Bible study, of meditation and prayer, in a world that has not learned it?

Have you learned that "in me dwells no good thing," and that, in yourselves, you are "unprofitable servants?" Have

you found your strength in God alone? Have you learned to apply Scriptural principles to all of life? That’s what your education, that’s what this school has been about. There are many different spirits in the world today. You have been led along a Biblical road. Will you follow it?

All of us have been very busy this year. Have we been laboring only for "perishing meat’?" We have done many legitimate things, but have we put them in proper perspective, or have we become "cumbered with much serving?" We read that there is ultimately "one thing needful." "Pass or Fail?"

In conclusion, all of us (administrator. teachers, staff members, parents, students) must ask ourselves, when the busyness, the outer shell, the fluff is blown away, how much wheat is left’?