April 21, 2020
Graduation for BSSM First Year 2019-2020 (whatever that might look like) is two weeks from today. And the approaching end to the semester has pulled me into some reflection.
Reflection on BSSM. On COVID-19. On the state of the world. On the reactions from the church, the economy, and in particular my school. And a thought occurred to me.
In most schools, there’s one thing that always happens right before graduation: Final Exams. The last tests.
Now, BSSM is a different kind of school. The teachers try to pitch homework as “devotions” (with varying degrees of success), the assignments are more about personal opinion and deep thinking than multiple choice “right answers”, and even when they are graded, it is purely on a pass / try again basis. All that to say, BSSM doesn’t have final exams.
Or, except, perhaps this year, it does.
Now, I don’t believe God sent COVID-19, but I think He’s doing a ton of incredibly beautiful things around the world with it. And I’ve come to believe that one of those things is allowing it to act as a final exam of sorts for my fellow BSSM students and I this year. This virus has become our last test.
How will we endure through this season? How will we respond to the pressure? How we will process through all the disappointment? Will we give in to the fear that feels so prevalent in the world, or will we hold fast and remain anchored in the only Thing we can fully rely on? Will we frantically and fearfully look around for anything promising any degree of comfort, like family, friends, or the distractions of Netflix, and run to it, or will we decide to be comforted in God alone, and let Him guide our steps instead of joining the world in reacting to the chaos?
And beyond this test, as it is with all schools, is graduation. Now, you can think of graduation as merely obtaining a piece of paper and walking across a stage. But I think it’s more than that. I think it becomes proof of your ability, proof that you have overcome, and I think we’d all agree it opens doors that previously could not be opened, such as in the search for a job. In the Kingdom world, I think it becomes proof of your trustworthiness. It becomes an elevation process, a “levelling up” if you will. Graduation becomes the stepping stone to the next thing in God.
So yes, COVID-19 is a bit of a pain. It’s uncomfortable, and inconvenient, and uncertain. But for all my friends out there, especially those joining me in an unexpected online season of BSSM, let me encourage you that this is merely the final exam, the last test. And as we pass it, we can look forward to that next level in God.
We can look forward to graduation day.