A Time for Giving Thanks

Andrew DeStefanoAs we approach the season of Thanksgiving, I can’t help but reflect on all of the many things God has blessed me with. Important people like my family and friends come to mind, as well as many useful material objects such as my house and my car. The fact that I am able to study God’s Creation at a University is incredible. Not only do I get to study the sciences, as a Biology major, but I have also had the opportunity to take courses in theology, philosophy, history, and the arts. However, these were no ordinary Gen-Ed classes; I got to learn about this variety of subjects through a classical, Christian lens.

One thing that I am especially thankful for in this season of life is - you guessed it - my Templeton education. The Honors College has really changed the way that I look at the world of education. Moral and personal formation has just as big a role in education - if not the more primary role - than learning the facts and gaining knowledge. I have experienced both a definite formation and an increase in knowledge in and through the Honors College. The Good Life is a class that immediately comes to mind when talking about moral formation. Not only does it explore different great philosophers’ ideas and writings, but The Good Life encourages thinking and, consequently, action on what it means to live well. I didn’t only learn what virtue and truth really are, but why the pursuit of truth and virtue is vital to human flourishing.

Being in THC has led to significant personal development, and it has also led to some of my best friendships - which continue to grow stronger with time. The community found within Templeton is truly something special. I especially look forward to Lessons and Carols and the Christmas Party at the end of the Fall semester. It is a great time full of good food, fellowship, and one very hardcore gingerbread house-decorating contest. I am thankful for not just these extraordinary people, the relationships I have with them, and the fun times that we have, but for the institution that was able to facilitate these friendships.

As I consider all that God has given me, I realize how much I - and all of us - take for granted. Food, clean water, even the breath in our lungs and the blood in our veins; a healthy body and mind: it is all from the Lord. In this upcoming season, I pray that we all may learn to take time to pause, reflect on our blessings, and praise God with a heart full of thanksgiving.