Westmont Magazine Curiosity and Commitment
by David K. Winter, President
I have become convinced that to be educated and to be an alive, effective person requires a never-ending stream of questions. It would be great if our campus were alive with questions about the amazing world in which we live and our place in that world.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ spoke of our need to “thirst after righteousness,” and in Psalm 42, David talks about thirsting after God. Proverbs is filled with a deep desire and longing for wisdom. Thirst. If you can recall at some point in your life being really thirsty, you can appreciate what a deep desire, a hunger, for godly wisdom means. This is what we want so much for all of us, a deep curiosity that is not easily satisfied, a longing to know God and to learn more about His handiwork, the world, and ourselves in that world.
Education at Westmont includes more than teaching you to pass exams. We will enable you to become an exemplary person, an accomplished and deeply educated Christian leader, a strong and humble servant of Christ.
This morning, I want you to be overwhelmed by the potential of your personal growth and development during these next eight months. I would like you to realize the extraordinary resources here on campus, starting with our faculty members, but also including key staff who will be available to you and the learning experiences, inside and outside of class, that can be yours.
I want you to understand what I did not understand at your age: that education is far more than simply memorizing information for examinations, and that our academic exercises are not ends in themselves but rather means to your development of concepts, perspectives, intellectual and personal competencies, values, and commitments.
You have received a great inheritance, the opportunity—some would say the luxury—of spending four years after high school, postponing the responsibilities of the adult working world, in order to learn and to grow, to become a responsible and competent Christian leader, a life-long learner, prepared for situations that will be extraordinarily challenging and difficult.
It is up to you. It is your education, and it is your decision to choose the person you wish to become and whether you will be intentional and disciplined in following a strategy, a plan, for becoming that person.
My personal hope is that you will respond to the drama of this year and the emotion of this day, that you will quietly but deeply commit yourself in these moments to the high calling of being God’s person in your studies, with your friends, and in your developing relationship with Jesus Christ. That decision, and the countless decisions that will follow from it, could lead you to a life of blessing and service and joy that would go far beyond anything you could remotely imagine.