The End-all and Be-all

It is three days to a month after my high school graduation.  With college looming ahead I seldom retrospect.  The few times I do, though, I am confronted by the same question — what has become of your three years at Hope Christian High School?

I could rephrase the question as “What are the fruits of your three years’ labours…” or “What have you achieved after three years…” or even “What have you done in the three years…”; but nothing could quite capture the essence of “become”.  It covers ‘fruit’, ‘achievement’, ‘accomplishment’, ‘result’, ‘outcome’, ‘product’, &c., yet surpasses all these.  In its completeness it bears what I am looking for — the connotation of timelessness.

What fruit has three years in Hope borne?  “Oh, I was the mayor of the Student Council; I was the Assistant Senior Crew Leader in Boy Scouts; I was (insert accolade).   !?

But what has become of your three years in Hope?

Oh yes, if you talk about legacy and memories and inspirations there are many I upon whom I have left a mark.  I do not presume, but some of my proteges in grade school will remember my name when they go to college.

However I am not looking to be remembered.  I am looking for what I had contributed.

Oh yes, there are those I have helped, when other helpers failed or fled.  Altruism is part of my nature, and taking the step to be a friend, an aid, a hand, uncomplainingly is an inherent part of my character.  I have made many grateful with more than good turns.

I am looking for something that requires the all-availing word ‘become’ — what I had contributed that will last.

This is the cause of my recent numbness when I turn my thoughts to Hope.  Those three years are over, and what others have said about redeeming the time has finally revealed its truth to me.   I now understand what they mean.

Those three years I lived for myself, by myself.  I worked to secure my name, I achieved, which I only thought proper, and out of my good nature I reached out to people by my own effort.  I realise that what I had read as a child about the humanists I have actually been living out these three years.

Now I come to the root of the matter — what comes of man must naturally last as long as man.  All my efforts, distinctions, proteges, admirers, and everything that carries the first-person pronoun can be reduced to nothing by a simple “So what?”

I was a nominal Christian from birth till the day I was converted in spirit, but for the past three years I have relapsed to the state of wearing the dead name.

I put God out of the equation of my high school life.

I was revived for the space of several months two years ago, and brought to Christ my classmate called Kevin.  Thankfully he has remained faithful even after I backslid and built my life around the student council.

What has become of your three years in high school?

I brought Kevin to Christ.


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