Should you quit school?

Thinking of quitting school? It can be a disturbing decision. I know. I went through it myself. There are often times when teen-agers in school begin to feel stifled. Their individual importance seems blunted in the midst of classroom routine. For some , growing anguish results. Only one measure appears sure to bring relief: quit school.

To leave off secondary education before completing it in order to do something different -- get a full-time job, perhaps -- would not necessarily be wrong. What might be wrong, however, is the reasoning behind the step.

Just about every young person nowadays who has reached the secondary level of education is aware of how much that training can mean -- aware that, in general, in our modern, complex society, it's an advantage for people to finish school. High-school graduates frequently go on to specialized vocational study, college, or on-the-job training.

But the pressure persists, patience seems thin, and you want action now. So you quit. What exactly are the consequences?

To find out, let's start with God; after all, He is the creator of everyone and everything. The Bible reminds us that the universe and man are God's completem reflection. Is there anything you or I could ever do to alter that expression, even slightly?

In many passages throughout the Bible, God is referred to as the "rock," but that figure of speech does not mean He is hard and cold.Mary Baker Eddy n1 gives this expansive definition of our creator: "God is incorporeal, divine, supreme, infinite Mind, Spirit, Soul, Principle, Life, Truth, Love." n2 There is certainly nothing hard about all-caring Love, nothing boring in infinite Life, no inessential ideas in divine Mind. It's true that as Principle, God is unchanging, unmodifiable good. But this fact, instead of being stifling, can actually help free us to express and experience all the good we naturally have in our real identity as God's infinite manifestation, His wholly spiritual man.

n1 Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science.

n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 465.

But back to school. We really have only one obligation: to magnify God as His child. If we keep this as our highest daily goal, then we can know with perfect assurance that the best way to do it will be shown us. Even if we make a mistake in judgment or act hastily, that very completeness of the universe of Love with its ever-operative tender law will adjust our lives to good.

We can lean on God and not be bullied by fearful predictions. Threats of poor grades and peer or parental pressure can all begin to be replaced with the truth of being: that in our real identity we are always perfect in the sight of our creator, that our teachers and peers are also actually held in perfection, and that there is one Parent, our Father-Mother God. Praying along these lines (and that's what such thinking is, prayer), we will be fortified and led to make a decision for which no one can condemn us -- ourselves included.

There is always a place for us, and this place will become apparent as we pray and strive to live Christlike lives. Christ Jesus Knew this and also knew that the christ, his real identity (and ours), was already harmoniously in place. He said: "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions. . . . I go to prepare a place for you." n3

n3 John 14: 1, 2.

I dropped out of high school when I was seventeen. But even though I left school early, afterward I was able to reverse this direction and earn a high- school equivalency certificate. Later I went on the college for bachelor's, master's, and doctor's degrees and taught in high school and college for many years.

God has a plan for each one of his ideas. He alone knows and outlines man's career. Trusting Him entirely, we will see His food intent unfolding in our lives, leading progressively to success and satisfaction, to complete manhood and womanhood.

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