In May 2008, I graduated with my Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. I was ecstatic! AGGIE PRIDE! I’ve been in college for 10 years. NO MORE SCHOOL…. so I thought. So when August came, for the first time in forever, I didn’t have to get ready to go back to school. I was a working professional. So all of those years of school paid off and had completed my degrees and was finally in the position to work without having to go back to classes, books, and homework. I thought I would not feel anything after graduation but each year that has followed, the nostalgic feeling of the familiar still comes over me in August and September when I see the school buses on the road, hear about football practice beginning, and see Back to School sales.
Getting ready for school always took preparation. Usually, school supplies and clothes were bought. Registration was completed prior to the school year, which resulted, in a brand new class schedule for the semester with new classes and new teachers or professors and I would always call my friends to see if we shared a class or ask if they took one of my new classes before. I was always kind of nervous but also excited. I was nervous of the unknown and the new challenges that I would face in the upcoming semester. However, I was always excited. Excited for a new fresh beginning and excited that I was one step closer to finishing school.
I would pray and ask God to lead and guide me through the school year and ask for a mind of Christ to deal with any and every challenge that I knew I would face and also for the wisdom and courage to get through the challenges and learn from them. Philippians 4:8 always came to mind. ““Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” I wanted a mind like Christ and still seek a mind like him to make sure my actions speak just as loud as my words.
That is something that I continue to do because although I’m not in school, I continue to have to study, read, take tests, research, complete projects and make presentations. So if you think learning stops once you complete school, you are wrong. Life long learning is something that never stops. It may not be always in a formal setting but you constantly learn something new from the environment, the people around you, and from other sources.
I like learning. Learning helps me to grow and assist in changing for the better if I apply myself to new and positive opportunities in my life. Going to school and furthering your education is great an I support that fully but I’ve learned that I have to continue to go back to school for my spiritual mind as well. As 2 Timothy 2:15 says, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
I have to continue to study the word of God so that I can receive the wisdom that I need to live life. In order to have a mind of Christ, I have to think like him and understand his ways, desires, and thoughts and the only way I can do that is to study his word and build my personal relationship with him daily. Just as in 1 Corinthians 2:10-16, I have to connect my spirit with the Spirit of God for understanding and discernment of spiritual things that effect the natural things of life. For the spirit of God in me can connect with God to understand spiritual matters. I have to constantly seek spiritual truths so that I can accept the things that come from the spirit of God. To the natural man, the spiritual truths of God are foolishness because he can’t understand such things because the spirit only understands them. Someone once said that, earthly knowledge is great because it helps you to progress through this natural world and make a living, however spiritual wisdom from God gives you the necessary essentials to make a life.
So as we all constantly grow in knowledge of the world and the things of the world, we must continue to also grow in the knowledge and wisdom of the God’s spirit. Promotion comes from God and as he promotes and equips us to new levels in our lives professionally with the education, skills, and resources that we need to survive, God also promotes and equips us with the spiritual wisdom that we need I need to sustain, defend, and enrich our lives so that we live abundantly in the promises, destiny and purpose that God has ordained for each of us individually.
Dr. Thema Bryant – Davis once stated, “Only those who are open to learn will continue to grow. A closed mind is a closed future.” Don’t be afraid to learn. Learning always presents a new challenge, but as you learn you change your behavior and when you learn to better yourself you will inevitably better the quality of your life and the people around you as well as enhance your future.
Kaize Adams, Ph.D. is a singer/songwriter from Columbia, SC, who now resides in Greensboro, NC. He holds a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and is also a recording artist on Durney Boy Records. His current project is entitled "Testimony" and he recently released a new single entitled "Glory." For more information on Dr. Adams, please visit www.kaizeadams.com.