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Aiming at Heaven

As I reflect upon this extraordinary year, I am humbled again at how God is radically transforming our children. Obviously, the level of transformation is different from student to student, but our teachers and I are noticing how little by little, these students are being radically transformed over the years. Everything changes. Their interests, their way of thinking about life, their joys, which include reading great books. And their understanding of Christian faith.

I believe that is in the nature of Classical, Christian Education. Because of its focus on Christ, everything changes in a student’s life. The most clear and concise way of summarizing this radical transformation that a Christ-centered life brings is a line that our teachers read last summer from C. S. Lewis’ Great Divorce.

This radical transformation is clearly taking place, little by little, year by year, among our students. Gradually, the students realize that

1. Heaven, both in the end and with Christ’s present reign over the world, is the goal of their lives. As with Augustine, students realize that their hearts are restless until they find rest in Christ.

2. When Christ’s reign is prioritized, students begin to find the radiance of God’s mercy and wisdom in everything they do on this earth. Everything ordinary suddenly becomes strange and delightful.

3. Desires for earthly achievements and accolades are their shackles. Students receive them because they are excellent in what they do, but they gradually realize the spiritual and mental bondage that worldliness brings, and long to be free from it.

4. As with those living in Heaven in the Great Divorce, students learn that what they thought about life in Heaven and Earth is backwards: They thought that life on earth is more “real” and “solid” than life in Heaven, but in reality, Heaven, or life under Christ’s reign, is more “real” and “solid” than earthly life. Glories of this world strangely grow dim.

Every year I hear similar testimonies from our graduates. It goes something like this. “Veritas is nothing like what I was looking for. It was hard. But in the end it was what I needed, because I found Christ and a new purpose in life.” It sounds like these students lost everything except Christ. But what is clear to everyone is that these students look happier, brighter, and more confident about life than ever before. The truth is, they gained everything.

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