Dr. Lawrence’s Blog: How the End is Better than the Beginning
It was a good year!
Solomon said, “The end of a matter is better than the beginning” (Ecclesiastes 7:8). This is an interesting concept and calls for some consideration! It challenges the reader to stop and think. How is being tired and worn out better than the excitement of new? How is mentally and emotionally whupped better than peeked interest and the curiosity of the yet-to-be-explored?
How is the end of the school year better than the beginning? In the beginning, the pencils were all the same length, and erasers were intact. The paper was clean and in neat folders, and the book bags smelled fresh. The uniforms were brand new, and they fit just right. Haircuts and new bows and shoes were all on point. The faces were bright with excitement and ready for the new year.
Now, for the most part, shoes are worn out and the uniforms ready to be hand-me-downs. Pencils are nowhere to be found. Ink pens and lunch remnants may still be in the bottom of the book bag.
Last week, there was even a change in the faces which had a bit of a tired look. Parents no longer enjoyed making their way through car line. They were asking for the 850 thousandth time, “Did you do your homework?” followed by, “Well, why not?”
Maybe it’s just that the end brings some relief. So, is that what Solomon meant? How is the end better than the beginning?
Certainly, the end of school causes us to look to the future. In school, you pass one grade in order to move to another.
Let’s think a little more about what Solomon is saying. We must look at what has been done in the process of education this year. One more year of teaching has been accomplished in the lives of the students. One more year of training has been invested toward the success in each young person’s life.
To get to this “end,” it took work and toil for both the student and the teacher. The grades and matriculation process is the victory. Victory is won. Success is brought about in self-discipline and in making sure the details were done hour by hour and day by day.
But see, there are results. There is accomplishment. This also means that someone did the work of learning. The student wrote, and wrote some more. The student figured and synthesized, computed, and distinguished between this and that.
Getting to the end of this matter of the 2017-2018 school year took effort, and it took being frustrated. At the end of the year it means there was learning, there was advancement, and there was accomplishment in the lives of the students.
The end of a matter is better when the amount of productivity is considered. Solomon finished his proverb by saying that a “patient spirit is better than the proud spirit.”
The patient person completes the course and runs the race—because there is much to endure and there is much work to be done. After the drills and the homework, then knowledge, understanding and wisdom were added to the students’ lives.
What we learn as students, teachers, and parents, in working together for the goals of education, is this: One thing that makes the difference (exponentially so) is the patient spirit. Because of the endurance and the patience, much was accomplished this year.
That makes the end of this matter better than the beginning!
As we move into summer, we here at Highlands will work hard to get ready for another year. We look forward to seeing all of you back at the beginning of a new school year in August. Have a great and safe summer. Go with God.