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Wednesday, 20 August 2008

Going for gold?

It’s been a busy old time since we returned from our extended summer holiday. A pile of “snail-mail” to go through; thousands of e-mails to sort out; a load of clearing-up (still ongoing – the weather conditions have not been particularly conducive to working outdoors!); the caravan to unload and clean up; and a dissertation to complete!
That last item was the real “spanner in the works”. I’ve been working on it for almost two years, and thought that it was due to be submitted by the end of August. However, when we arrived in Maidstone, and had access to the internet, I discovered an e-mail that informed me that I was already late!
Frantic phone-calls to my supervisor (who also thought that we still had a couple of weeks!), and two trips to the Jordanhill Campus of the University of Strathclyde, and I managed to submit the required two copies last Wednesday. Now I just have to await the decision of the Examination Board but, hopefully, I will graduate in November with the degree of Master of Science (in education management!).
It hasn’t been easy to work at that sort of postgraduate level, and it certainly wasn’t an employment requirement. So why have I spent the time and energy doing it? I think that there were two basic reasons:
I am an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, and am continually seeking to expand my personal knowledge-base
I had a goal in sight, and only doing the work would enable me to attain it.
That’s a bit like the Christian life. There’s no such thing as “having arrived”. It’s no coincidence that it is constantly referred to as a walk, and a race. It’s a journey that commences at conversion, and continues until we are called home by Father God.
And, of course, we have a goal. That great 1st century Christian, Paul, put it all like this: “I do not claim that I have already succeeded, or have already become perfect. I keep striving to win the prize for which Christ Jesus has already won me to Himself. […] So I run straight towards the goal in order to win the prize, which is God’s call through Christ Jesus, to the life above.” (Phil.3:12,14).
Some are currently winning gold medals. The Christian’s prize is eternal life – much more precious than even the finest gold!


Anonymous said...

"....I am an enthusiastic advocate of life-long learning, and am continually seeking to expand my personal knowledge-base..." So even when you retire, or should that read 'become a pensioner' in a few more months, will you STILL be wanting to learn more and do still MORE studying?

Brian Ross said...

Absolutely, dear Anonymous! There is so much still to discover, and about which to learn, in the wonderful universe in which Father God has placed us. Even if I were to achieve the life-span of Methuselah, I wouldn't be able to do any more than scratch the surface of the sum total of knowledge. I trust that, in this at least, you will seek to follow my example!! :-)