The following devotional was shared at the Constituency Meeting on September 18, 2022.
Sabbath morning, my friend Paul and I sat by the breakfast fire looking across Fraser Lake in the Wallowas, discussing our plans for the day. Across from us, we noted a peak. What if we climb that peak to view the surrounding country? Beginning with our destination, we devised our strategy to climb the peak. First, we would hike around the lake. Second, we observed a very tall waterfall. We decided to climb up it to gain altitude. Finally, we would traverse a bolder field to gain the summit.
We put our day packs together with extra water and headed out. The walk around the lake was a breeze. Finally, we arrived at the waterfall. The surrounding walls were steeper than we thought, but it looked doable. So up, we started up. Unfortunately, it did not take long to discover we were in trouble. The rock wall was not solid, and it came out in chunks.
Furthermore, it was slimy due to the fall's mist. By now, it was more dangerous to go down than up. With increasing fear and strain, we continued up. At one point, I found myself in a severe predicament. I was down to only one hand hold while flailing around, trying other contact points with hundreds of feet of drop below me. Eventually, we both made it out frightened and wiser. In time we made it to the top and experienced a fantastic vista.
Stephen Covey wrote a book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. His second maxim is, "Begin with the end in mind." The reason is to have a clear vision of the desired direction and destiny which will help one become more efficient in planning strategies to gain the goal.
This is wise counsel for a Seventh-day Adventist institution like FAA. Begin with the end in mind. What is the end we should consider? Turning to Revelation chapter 22:3-4, we discover the end, “The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” What is the end? His servants will serve him and see His face. Turning to the last pages of the Book Education by Ellen White, we read, “In our life here, earthly, sin-restricted though it is, the greatest joy and the highest education are in service. And in the future state, untrammeled by the limitations of sinful humanity, it is in service that our greatest joy and our highest education will be found.” What is the end? Serving in heaven. We are reminded of what Jesus said, "I came not to be served but to serve." John wrote in Revelation 1:5-6, " He loved us. He freed us from our sins by His blood. He has made us to be a kingdom and priest to serve His God and Father." What is the end? Service.
As we gather for our Constituency Meeting this morning, let's begin with the end in mind. What is the goal? How shall we achieve the goal here at FAA? By keeping the goal in mind, we can plan effective strategies to reach the end -- to help our students to learn life's great lesson of unselfish service, for it is this that underlies all true development. Through unselfish service, our students will receive the highest culture of every faculty. Therefore, let's begin with the end in mind learning to be servants now and to be one forever more in the courts of heaven.