PHOTO CAPTION: P.E. Leadership Team, pictured left to right, Sarah Lawrence, Morgan Chumney, Caroline O’Neal, and Sydney Lawrence.
As this senior year progresses, college application deadlines loom, and discussions of senior privileges, projects, theses, and trip carry on, I am ever reminded that the end approaches. While the sun begins to set over the expansive sea of my time here at Holy Trinity, it brings to mind the dawn, and it makes me wonder, what parts of me have been lost in the waves?
As I stare into the somewhat murky waters of the past seven years, one vivid memory that has emerged is one from the beginning of fifth grade, my first year at Holy Trinity. I remember lining up after recess, simply incredulous at how excited I was to go to class. You see, the chance to learn Latin, study the Romans, and have a math class of six people I genuinely liked was so different from any of my previous school experiences. I figured it couldn’t possibly be real. And at the heart of this memory, dimmed by the dust of time, is joy. This joy wasn’t the result of some lofty intellectualism on my part or even the fact that I got two recesses. It was simply caused by my rediscovered wonder and unleashed hunger to learn.
This year I have the interesting experience of being one of four seniors in the P.E. leadership program. One aspect of this is helping lead P.E. for the first graders. I have been struck every week by the effervescence of these young children and their enthusiasm and willingness to take on a challenge or try something new. Yes, it must be directed, but it is an amazing gift when it is nurtured, not suppressed.
Although the grammar school students could not articulate that the capacity for language is God’s image in man or that the myths they learn now will help them to understand the narrative communication of the subconscious, there is some aspect of their nature that makes them recognize the value of a good story and the fun of learning Latin. Yet we are about halfway through the first trimester, and I too often find myself with the mindset of “dealing with the day-to-day drudgery.” What happened to that natural joy?
Well, time goes on, Fortune spins us on her whirling wheel, and we trade in that effusive luminosity for experience and prudence. Is there no way then to have both? If we trade in slavery to time for service to the Lord of time, we might just find that He grants us both. After all, He who taught to thousands said, “Let the little children come to me…The kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Just as we must keep His death set before our eyes, we must remember too His resurrection. Reborn in Him, we gain a youthful joy greater even than the enthusiasm of children, because it is tempered with a deep understanding.
And so, as my time here grows ever shorter, I am resolved to make it my goal to reclaim the transformative joy of learning, and hopefully, encourage others to do so. Like our mascot, may we be ravenous. May the Holy Trinity lions roar with an insatiable desire for wisdom. May we roar with the exultant joy of life. And may we roar to the highest hilltops, “Soli Deo Gloria!”