It has been quite a while since I remember studying hard for an exam. The last time I did an extensive review was during my exam for masters in engineering. I studied and reviewed subjects related to engineering mathematics when I had the opportunity to teach at a distinguished university school in an Asian country. But this review was totally different from a qualifying exam. The former had limited scope and I had the control of what to cover in my teaching. The latter seemed endless as I had to study everything about structural design, advance structural design and structural analysis.
At first, I was confident on the subjects that I would be taking. These subjects were the actual works I am doing as a structural designer. However as I prepared and seriously considered reviewing, I felt overwhelmed. I realized that my “sharp” mind was no longer there. It dawned on me that everything on earth doesn’t last…yes, even a sharp mind. Intelligence is temporary.
For those people who experienced living in a third world country, you would conclude that one of the greatest assets you can develop is your intelligence. Even poor families strive hard to give quality education to their children. Parents would often tell their children that education is “THE ONLY INHERITANCE WE CAN GIVE YOU.” Anybody can steal material things from you but knowledge is in your head. It is hard for others to steal it. But as I experience right now -- intelligence, sharpness of mind, wit -- can also be lost. I remembered Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV), when he said: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” I realized that the worldly treasure Jesus is talking about includes the knowledge gained in this world. Our minds also tend to get rusty and earthly knowledge eventually fades just like material treasures.
There was a movie Marie and I watched entitled “Wit” which tells of an outstanding poetry professor who spent most of her time perfecting her 17th century poetry study. She eventually suffered from stage four cancer and in her deathbed realized that it is not her wit that matters. A few minutes before she died, she refused to be read a 17th century poem. She rested on a simple child’s story read to her. Yes, she found comfort in a ‘simple’ story.
As I relate my story to that professor, I was rebuked at how I treated my kids. I realized that instead of telling my kids to study well because “that is the only treasure we can give you,” what I should have inculcated in their minds is that the best treasure we can give and leave to them is their Christian heritage – having a solid and firm relationship with Jesus Christ, their Lord, Saviour, and Master. Our children may not end up to be the best academically – so what? The more important values we can teach them are faith, unconditional love for all people, discipline, responsibility, initiative, kindness, thankfulness - all focused on God. Later, when my kids venture to the working world, it is their godly character and work attitude that matters. Academic grades? Well, it may be used as an opening avenue to the working world. But then again, God works in the hearts and minds of people. He will give you a particular work if it is His will – not for what you think you deserve.
So I came to appreciate my wife Marie as she spends ‘valuable’ time with our younger children. She tells stories to them and instills Christian values in their conversation. Marie redeems every opportunity to relate Christian principles and values to our children. As we show understanding and kindness to them, we hope that they would be able to translate this same kindness and good values to others.
Psalm 27:4 says: “One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.” As our mind beholds the beauty of the Lord, then we can develop and experience a “beautiful mind.” Any takers?
Personal testimony of Romeo Agustin
Written by Marie Agustin
Treava (Joyce) <<--- Taker. :o) "As our mind beholds the beauty of the Lord, then we can develop and experience a “beautiful mind.” Any takers?" Above all things that we can do for our children, to "raise up a child in the way he should go" is guaranteed, no matter their intelligence level, to see them, sooner or later, coming to the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Wonderful article!
Beautiful writing so full of God's Truth and Love. Oh to Seek Jesus as our Greatest Treasure;That He surely is to the Adopted Child of God.
God Bless you and your Family Always.