Upon the occasion of my graduation

Freelance writer Jared Dobbs expresses his thankfulness as his time at Biola comes to an end.



Senior Jared Dobbs, freelance writer for The Chimes, expresses his thankfulness as his time at Biola comes to an end. | Tomber Su/THE CHIMES

Jared Dobbs, Writer

Senior Jared Dobbs, freelance writer for The Chimes, expresses his thankfulness as his time at Biola comes to an end. | Tomber Su/THE CHIMES

As a political science major, please indulge me: no one has the right to a college education.

This is a political and spiritual statement. The more we convince ourselves we are entitled to societal goods, the less thanks there is to give — and giving thanks is downright biblical. Just ask the apostle Paul, who often starts his letters with a word of thanksgiving.

I have freelanced for the Chimes off and on, but especially these last two semesters. I should like to put something down for the record. As my time here nears an end, I give thanks for the privilege of attending Biola. There are many reasons that Biola has a special place in my heart, so let’s get down to business.

First, thank you to this institution’s faithfulness. Not all colleges labeled Christian, or even “evangelical,” are created equal. After over a hundred years, many Christian institutions would have succumbed to the siren song of theological liberalism. Still, this old Bible Institute has remained true to the gospel of the risen Christ and the scriptures that bear witness to it.

Thank you to all the professors whose office hours I hoarded, especially Andy Draycott, Darren Guerra, Jonathan Lunde, Jason Tresser and Scott Waller, who listened patiently to my questions and doubts, probably on matters you had considered many times before. But these were my questions and my doubts. This you knew, and you cared.

Office hours are a joy. Here, I had rigorous, engaging discussions on everything from biological similarity to the conservative/libertarian debate on upholding liberty and enforcing virtue.

Fellow students, you have a rare gift at your disposal: experts that span the academic disciplines who are willing to personally help you craft a thoroughly Christian mind. And all this tailored toward your intellectual sensibilities and quandaries.

Thank you to the Caf for good applesauce, cranberry orange muffins, everything bagels, excellent salads at lunchtime, stir fry and ice cream on Sunday nights.

Caf grumblers — you make the children of Israel look like saints.

Thank you to many friends who have laughed, discussed and fellowshipped with me.
A shout-out especially to my friends in the Bible Bridge Class of 2010 and the piano department.

Thank you to my piano teacher for these last several years, Manami Kawamura. You loved me by demanding I be the best musician I could be. Your ability to squeeze tone, expression and technique out of these clumsy 10 fingers is unparalleled.

Thank you to mom and dad, who have modeled Christian living and Christian marriage for me. Thank you for sacrificing many things over many years to pay for this experience of a lifetime.

As we embrace Christmas and New Year’s, let us remember the exhortation of a great American saint, Mary Ingalls. The older sister of Laura Ingalls Wilder in the delightful “Little House on the Prairie” series, Mary permanently lost her sight in her early teen years.

"How good it is to be alive!" she wrote to Laura in 1914. "Let us be thankful that we were born. Let us fold away our fears and put by our foolish tears through the coming year and just be glad."

A hundred New Year’s later, we, along with Mary and Laura, say a hearty amen.


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