Monday, May 26, 2008

Graduating, Summer School, and Going to the Allergist

Over the past year or so, we here at PotterVilla Academy have known that someday, one of our students would finish school. What we haven't known, however, is whether he or she would graduate. Yes, the student would be done with school, but graduating really a good thing? The question has arisen concerning whether graduation is a human tradition ("since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to it's rules" --like graduating) or whether it is a legitimate landmark--a standing stone perhaps--recognizing the completion of this segment of life. So, for the past few days, I have been thinking that I would query some of the wise people that traverse the agrarian circles of the internet.

As far as I can tell (from a quick Google search), the graduation ceremony was first practiced by monasteries in the middle ages. From my knowledge of the spiritual state of the middle ages, being practiced by monasteries does not make it a spiritual tradition. However, being practiced by monasteries does not make it a human tradition ether. Another avenue might be that, whether it started as a human tradition or not, it has become one today. Well, I cannot think of (or find) a single high school that doesn't graduate it's students, public, homeschool, private, catholic, or whatever. That still doesn't mean anything, since everybody doing it doesn't make God like it. By the way, I can't seem to find any biblical reference to a ceremony that involved Jewish young men who were finishing their schooling. However, I haven't read through the full bible looking for this, so I might have missed something. :-) I would be thrilled if someone had a reference. The Jews did, however, have such rituals as Bar-Mitzvah.

Over this past winter, I haven't accomplished as much in the way of academics as I intended, so tomorrow, I'm starting voluntary summer school. The plan is to finish up the advanced physics course that I started, but only finished about a third, and to do the last few lessons of my trig math book, then start on calculus. We have grown lax in our verse memorization (which never worked out as originally planned; we never really worked on it as a family), so I would like to start working hard on that again, possibly at the dinner table. We will be reviewing Colossians and starting on Ephesians(?). And then there is art...maybe something we do this time will actually work out.

Last Wednesday, I went to see the local allergist. After doing a skin test (a skin test is to people with allergies as a spinal tap is to people with cancer) he prescribed a nasal spray that seems to be helping. We'll see if it cleans out my sinuses. Of course, he gave the normal allergist speech: 'get rid of your dog and cat, change your bed once a week, take a shower every day, get an air purifier, vacuum every day, don't go out side in the summer, ware a gas mask, etc.' He didn't go as far as the going outside and gas mask, but came pretty close. :-) He also was very complementary to natural remedies--he said that none of them work, practical or not.

Here's a verse:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
- Matthew 5:1-12, NIV

If you get a chance, read the rest of the chapter, and yea, even to the end of the sermon. It's good.

Striving to follow Him--albeit weakly--


P.S. to those looking for a good laugh, check out what the Amish do when no one's looking: The Deliberate Agrarian