“I’m going to hand back the essays you wrote last week to begin our unit on ‘What Spells Success?’” Mrs. Adams stood up from her desk with a stack of papers in her hand. “As you remember, we were to consider the men who have made significant contributions in any intellectual field, and then answer the question ‘Where should I begin my search for knowledge?’”
Diego took a deep breath and stared fixedly at the pile of books on the desk in front of him. This grade was so important! He really needed an “A” in this class to stay on the honor roll. He had known his paper would be different from anyone else’s in the class, but even though he really wanted an “A” there was only one answer that he could write.
“Some of these papers took a very unusual approach,” Mrs. Adams commented as she neared his seat. Diego groaned inwardly. She had to be talking about his. For sure it was unusual! If only she hadn’t given him a bad grade because of it.
As his paper was placed on his desk, he reached for it reluctantly and turned to the back page where he knew the grade would be. His heart gave a lurch as he saw Mrs. Adams’ red notations. He read her comment quickly, then turned back to the beginning of his theme to look through the whole paper.
“Books? Philosophies? Experience?” He read through the words he had worked on so hard last week. “Many famous men have found what they think is knowledge by searching in these areas. In a sense, my search has combined all three of these.
My search started with a Book—the Bible. It is the best-known Book ever written. I almost learned to read out of it. My parents told its stories to me from the time I was little. But though the characters and the events related there were vividly pictured in my mind, they were little more than fairy tales.
From the time I was old enough to think about it, my philosophy of a good way to live centered around the teachings of Jesus Christ. I accepted His principles of right and wrong and tried to live by them, though I was not always successful in this. Sometimes I found myself doing things I knew were not right, and I felt bad about that.
But at last there came a point in my life where I had an experience which opened my eyes to true knowledge. I admitted that I was not succeeding in my own strength at being the kind of person I wanted to be. Asking forgiveness for the wrongs I had done, I asked God to take control of my life. He made an instantaneous change. In place of the questions, the searching, and the struggle I had felt inside, I now felt peace and assurance.
The words of the Bible became a reality. What had been merely philosophic principles became a natural way of living. The experience of salvation, or new birth, gave me a whole new approach to life. I no longer did things which went against what I knew was right. At last I had strength to live the way I wanted to.
And so, my personal search for knowledge revolves around the words written in Proverbs 2:3-5, ‘Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.’”
Once again Diego read the words Mrs. Adams had written across the bottom of his paper, and a pent-up sigh of relief escaped his lips.
“Grade: A. Good job, Diego. Stick to your beliefs!”