When I was a teenager, my parents decided to send me to a Christian high school. While I was unhappy about their choice of Westminster, over twenty years later, I can see how God’s sovereign hand was at work in that decision.
Equipped With Everything
“Our goal here at Westminster Academy is not to make our students Jeopardy champions, but to help them be Christ-followers for the rest of their lives.”
As a cynical eighth grader and not yet a Christian, those words from Principal Schwab seemed strange to my ears. Wasn’t the goal of education to make us smarter so we could compete in Jeopardy if we wanted to? After that admissions interview, I honestly didn’t think Westminster was the right high school for me. Among many other ideas I had at the time, it turns out that my teenage self was wrong about Westminster and the purpose of education. I can now honestly say I am so glad the Great Shepherd led me to Westminster for high school, as my time there was truly transformational.
At the conclusion of the book of Hebrews, the benediction says:
Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen (Hebrews 13:20-21).
It is God who equips us with all we need to do His will. The word “equip” means, “to prepare for a purpose.” Part of the way God prepared me for the purposes He had for my life was through the teachers, staff, and friends He blessed me with in high school. In fact, some of my most treasured friendships today were formed at Westminster.
To give you a few examples of God’s equipping in my life, I recall thinking Ms. Cork’s Latin class was boring. I was less than enthusiastic about learning a “dead language.” When I went to grad school to be Physician’s Assistant (PA), I found Latin helped me with understanding anatomy and medical terminology.
I remember being overwhelmed with Mr. Beaupied’s requirement to memorize what I perceived as half the Bible for our Marriage and Family class. Today, I can still recall some of those same verses we memorized. Hiding God’s Word in my heart equipped me for women’s ministry and teaching Bible studies at my local church today.
In Ms. Atchison’s Spanish class, I thought it was funny that she always prayed for us in Spanish, because I didn’t really understand what she was praying. A few years ago, I was in Spain and had the opportunity to pray with a woman who had just accepted Jesus into her heart. I stumbled through my prayer in Spanish for this dear woman, but at the end of it, Ms. A’s words came back to me, “en el nombre de Jesús oramos, amen.”
In Mr. Jominy’s Bible class, I remember him telling us that prior to being a teacher, he had a higher paying job and even owned a fancy sports car. He went on to explain that doing what he loved as a teacher was so much more fulfilling than owning any earthly treasure. I have found these words of wisdom to be true.
When we walk in obedience to the callings God has on our lives, He works “in us that which is pleasing in his sight,” which brings Him glory and joy to our lives. The way in which God prepares us for our callings will vary, but what is true for all Christians is that He will fully equip us for every good work. Principal Schwab was correct. Following our Shepherd wherever He guides us is so much more rewarding than knowing the answer to any trivia question.
Lord, thank You for knowing our needs before we do and for being the One who equips us with everything good so we can do Your will. Help us to trust You no matter where You lead us, because You are sovereign and You are faithful to Your sheep. In Jesus’ name, Amen.