Guess what?

I graduated!!!!!!! After years of hard work and homeschooling I have finally completed my high school education (as of February 20th 2016)! I could not have made it this far without the support of my family and friends, but most importantly, I could have done nothing if it were not for the grace of God. It is Him who I want to thank most of all. I pray that He will see fit to continue working His will in my life.

I thought that in token of this exciting announcement I would share with y’all my graduation speech! (Just a side note, I also edited and presented this speech for a Classical Conversations Challenge EXPO. This is the unedited version. 🙂 )

“To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth–Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance.”

(Prov. 1: 2-5)

It is really important that we see Christ in everything; especially education. He is sovereign over every aspect of our lives and if we seek Him first, only then can we find true knowledge, understanding and wisdom. During my studies, we focussed not just on obtaining knowledge but on learning HOW to learn. If we look closely we can see both of these things in every facet of education. There is a practical application to everything I have studied that will influence my entire life, vision and purpose.

I’ll fall back on the three points that my siblings have presented. Through Science and Math I have learned that the right thing done in the wrong way always leads to disaster. History, Philosophy and Apologetics have taught me that ideas have consequences; and through Art and Literature we see that world views really do matter.

First, seeing Christ in Math and Science. In both of these subjects we can clearly see that technical precision is IMPERATIVE. Without complete accuracy, you can’t find the correct answer to an Algebra problem. Even if you are looking for the right thing, say the value of x, you can’t find it without the proper formula. Without complete accuracy you can’t trust the outcome of an experiment. One experimental error will undermine the entire project. This could be as insignificant as a simple misreading of procedure. Nonetheless, it will end in disaster. Patience is also a necessity. It can sometimes take a REALLY long time to work through an issue or thoroughly test a hypothesis. Also, it requires logical thinking.

This can be directly applied to our daily lives. We can have all the right ideas, commendable intentions and honorable goals; but if we set about them in the wrong way they can only end in chaos. Without precision, patience and logical thinking in our lives we will lack the ability to discern what is the will of God; what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Philosophy offers a wide range of learning. By studying philosophers, reading good literature and all with a commitment to take every thought captive to Christ, we contemplate important issues, learn discernment and practice exercising wisdom. The study of Apologetics equips us to better defend and promote our faith; and that is our calling in life, to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Why do we study history? I remember quite clearly the many times I asked this question when I was younger and completely uninterested in history. Now, looking back, I see how these studies have influenced my outlook on life, my vision, my purpose. I have learned exactly how much world views matter, the scope that we look through will change our lives and the lives of the people around us. Through these studies I am learning that we need to be visionaries instead of dreamers, doers instead of oglers and advocates of truth, justice and righteousness.

British philosopher G.K. Chesterton once said,

“I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act.”

In 2015 we studied American Culture through Dr. George Grant’s history course, Gileskirk. When we go back to the founding of our country, we see it as our forefathers meant it to be. A land of union, justice, domestic tranquility, provision for the common defense, promotion of general welfare and the blessing of liberty for them and their future generations. We are their future generations. And we are throwing away our freedom. We, as a nation are promoting evil, supporting sugar coated murder. We as a nation must repent and turn from our ways  back to God and back to the foundations that our country is rooted in.

Alex de Tocqueville put it this way,

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there; in her fertile fields and boundless prairies, and it was not there; in her rich mines and her vast world of commerce, and it was not there. Not until I went to the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because she is good and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

In his introduction to “The Patriot’s Handbook,” Dr. George Grant adds,

“This anthology of historical and citizenship resources is offered in the hope that the ideas that made America both great and good may once again become the common currency of our national life. It is offered in the hope that the secret of our genius and power might be broadcast far and wide- and thus, essentially, cease to be a secret.”

In order to make these ideas the common currency we must know them first. We must delve deep into the original intent of our forefathers, find out for ourselves the secret of America’s genius and power and as a nation turn towards good and thus towards greatness. The vision for America must once again be a city set on a hill, that gives light to the nations.

This is what history can teach us. Ideas have consequences, and may it be that the ideas and their corresponding consequences are good and therefore great.

All of these applications can be applied even further through art and literature. When we look at the art and literature of past times we can see clearly in it the culture of the age. If we look at the work of the renaissance (I’m not a fan. At all.) we can see their culture of a return to old ancient Greek and Roman ideals. Their pagan beliefs shine out in their art and literature. This is also true today. Take a look at modern art. It appears that they tried to undo story lines that are usually found in good art. You can look at it and look at it and look at it and think, “WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THAT!!!!!” If confusion was the message, they most certainly achieved it. If there was some other point we don’t know what it is.

I think that that is a perfect definition of our current culture and government. Confusion. Corruption. Chaos; And our country is on a downward slope. We are headed further and further away from the truth. Corruption has seeped into the culture. Corruption has infiltrated the Church. Corruption is what defines us; and corruption will consume us of we are not zealous in our search after truth.

We can take a stand through art and literature. We can glorify God through art, music, creativity, writing, learning and everything else that we do as long as we remember to look through the lens of a Christian world view. World view matters. It matters because it affects our vision, our vision affects our culture and our culture affects all of history.

Seeing Christ in every aspect of education is the key to true understanding. We ultimately need to learn only one lesson; that God is at the center of EVERYTHING in our lives. Studying everything from mathematics to literature gives us an advantage. We must use precision, patience and logical thinking for discernment. History, Philosophy and Apologetics for perspective, wisdom and defending the faith. Art and literature to make a positive impact on our culture. If we learn about the past we can understand the present that we may prepare for the future. A future of generations of believers who are willing to stand up for their faith and raise their children to seek God first. This is my vision, hope and prayer.

“Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for man knowing that you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be payed back for the wrong he has done and there is no partiality.”

(Col. 3: 23-25)

To God alone be the Glory.

~ Sarah Leana


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