From the Headmaster
Building Living Cathedrals
The parable is told of three stone masons working together at a construction site. The first mason, being asked what he was doing, replied, “I’m cutting and shaping stones.” When asked the same question the second stone mason responded, “I’m building a wall with these stones.” Much to the delight of the interviewer, the third mason answered the same question by asserting, “I am building a cathedral!”
What hard, arduous work it must have been, day after day, month after month, and year after year for the first two stone masons. With such limited perspective, no vision for the greater accomplishments of their labor, it must have seemed like nothing but drudgery to go to work each day and have no more idea of why they were cutting and shaping each stone. By contrast, what an exciting prospect each day must have held for the third mason despite the fact that he was doing exactly the same work as the other two each day.
When translated to education, the parable may have similar application. In the same classroom, one student might answer the question of what she is doing by saying, “I go from class to class to class all day long.” A second might respond by volunteering, “I’m fulfilling state graduation requirements so as to go to college so as to go to yet more classes in the hope of getting more good grades.” The visionary third student is eager to make it known that she is hoping to attain the stature of a virtuous scholar whose lifelong learning will contribute to a flourishing Christian life. Only the third student will build a cathedral with her life.
The Geneva School is about casting a vision for building living cathedrals. Our goal is to cast a vision before each one of our students concerning the true and proper ends for which they are being privileged with a Christian and classical education. Our goal for each one is not so short-sighted as to be only about grades and test scores and transcripts, regardless of how significant they are in attaining the ultimate goal. Our goals for them include being a responsible servant leader in the Kingdom of God. We aspire for them to attain wisdom and scholarship by cultivating the virtues of faith, hope, and love conjoined to goodness, truth, and beauty. We trust that each student will maximize his and her academic capabilities as well as their artistic, athletic, and leadership skills. We intend to educate and lead souls; our fervent desire is to see students grow into the image of Christ, and to bear the fruit of the Spirit, including love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Medieval cathedral building was a lifelong endeavor. Likewise, education is a lifelong pursuit animated by wonder. Who is not captivated by the architectural marvel and aesthetic beauty of a cathedral? Why would we not desire the same lofty vision for each and every one of our students?
Let’s build living cathedrals at The Geneva School!
Rev. Robert Ingram