Laila bought the sign. I held it while capturing the view of mountains from our home. It speaks a truth that is sobering and calls for courage. Allow me to illustrate the importance of climbing the mountain.
Every 26 seconds at a rate of 7,000 per day a student in the United States drops out of high school, i.e., about 1.2 million per year. About 25% of freshmen never receive their high school diploma.
Translated: A dropout will earn about $950,000 in a lifetime. A graduate will have lifetime earnings of about $1,450,000, or $500,000 more than a dropout.
A college graduate on average earns about $2,400,000 in a lifetime, which is almost a million dollars more than a high school graduate. A master's degree on average increases lifetime income about $500,000.
Review. A person with a master's degree in the U.S. will have lifetime earnings of about $2,000,000 MORE than a high school dropout.
The above does not factor in health benefits, vacation, job security and retirement benefits, including higher social security.
Keep in mind that education will not save your soul, but it can change your lifestyle.
This writing seems academic but the intent is inspirational.
The goal of high school is clear: Students matriculate a series of classes carefully designed for four years of study (only 9 months each year) leading to a diploma by about age 18 (some younger, usually not more than 19). They are just entering adult life. They are legal to join the army on their own, get married, get a job, choose their preference for further training or education.
The mountain is obvious. The path up the mountain is marked. There are guides and instructors. The process is essentially free. To spice things up there are musical programs, technical courses, sports, etc., to entertain and create social opportunities. Generally free transportation is provided.
It seems like a cakewalk, but millions never see the top of the mountain, nor do they enjoy the view on the other side.
Allow me to speak spiritually. The work of the Lord can be long hours, difficult, challenging, lonely, frightening, frustrating, and costly.
While climbing the mountain there can be diverse struggles and attractions to divert attention from the mission.
In Numbers 32:13 God punished Israel for failing to see the "top of the mountain", and all but two over age twenty died, not seeing the "other side".
Keeping focus on the Call of God to fulfill Jesus' Commission requires introspective prayer, fervent labor and pressing on against all adversity.
The top of the mountain beckons. We see that God has planned better things. We know that on the other side there is "milk and honey" (Israel to Canaan). We willfully cast aside every obstacle to climb by inches if necessary---but never taking our eyes from what God has promised.
We encourage each other. Soon we will FINISH the building. We will celebrate. We will give more to missions. We will welcome new persons and families to our fellowship.
Do not look back. Do not think about slowing down or stopping to rest. Let us press with great diligence knowing that Our God is with us and that what we are doing is righteous and for His Glory!
Onward! Upward! To the FINISH!
This week celebrate missions with us! We look forward to fellowshipping with you.