My nephew Connor is being graduated next weekend from Southern Methodist University, and today I sent him a card with my congratulations.
Among the treasures of avuncular wisdom I shared with him is that he make his education a lifelong enterprise, regarding his bachelor's degree in economics as only the beginning of learning.
In 1976 when I was graduated from university, I thought I knew nearly everything, or at least more than those who hadn't been blessed enough to go to college or university. How wrong I was. I quickly learned that I was ignorant--that I had so much yet to learn, and even when I had learned it, I would have much more to learn. And learn. And learn.
Learning is my passion, or at least one of them, and not just learning about history, literature, economics, and other secular disciplines, but also about the Christian faith.
I have so much to learn about the risen and living Jesus Christ and my life in relationship to him and to my fellow believers and to this world for which Jesus died.
In John's Gospel, Jesus promises his followers that he will send them the Holy Spirit, who will lead them into all truth. I often pray, "Come Holy Spirit." Just that. Nothing more.
And I trust that God the Holy Spirit will lead me into a deeper knowledge and experience of God and myself and others and the kingdom.
When I look back on my graduation from university, I see it was just the beginning of my education, as Connor's graduation from SMU will be just the beginning for his. Or so I hope and pray it wil be.
Baptism and confirmation and ordination--graduations of a kind--were just beginnings for me, for God the Holy Spirit is still teaching me, leading me into the fullness of truth.