A Meaningful Life - Principal Rhodes
“The children born into this culture have less chance than ever before to don the mantle of a
meaningful life. There are too many fashion models with good looking clothes, too few role
models with a complete set of ethics. A meaningful life is not precluded, of course, but how
many tailors are out there amongst us willing to make such an effort and take such a fashion
That quote, by local author Philip Berling, was used by my mother in a devotional book she
wrote 18 years ago. She is now 90. It makes me think about her life that began in 1932. Her
childhood and teenage years were dominated by two worldwide cataclysmic events: The Great Depression and World War II.
During the Great Depression, even though her preacher-family was poor, there were others who were poorer. How can we help them? How can we help each other? Their lives were dominated by sharing and sacrifice.
Then it came suddenly in a hail of bombs and blood: World War II.
Living on the home front was a daily exercise in scarcity. “Auto makers were ordered to stop
building family cars in 1942; gas was rationed, and tires – even retreads – were in short supply. Gone from store windows were new toasters and refrigerators, irons and washing machines...” (2) If you were a coffee lover you had to survive on a pound every five weeks. If you loved your steak, you had to settle for a weekly allotment of 28 ounces. But everybody knew their daily sacrifice was necessary to defeat one of the greatest evils of the 20 th Century: Nazism.
In three generations we’ve gone from self-sacrifice to selfies.
My mother has had a meaningful life – a life of service to others that continued long after
V. J. Day. It’s her selfless life that helped her establish Olive Knolls Christian School. (3)
This current culture has conspired against our children to sabotage any possibility of a
meaningful life. Berling’s above quote is exponentially more true today.
That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. But we need God more than ever as we raise our children in these times.
It’s why we model a godly life in our homes. It’s why we find a faith community to support us.
It’s why we’ve partnered at OKCS. We have come together to ensure the possibility for our
children to experience something greater than their selfies and themselves. Life should have eternal meaning and worth – and it can be found.
Jesus said it this way: “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (4)
Together, let us pursue a meaningful life and show our children how it’s done.
1. Rhodes, Leta. “Life Lessons.” The Baton. 2004, p. 113.
2. Bailey, Ronald H. “Scarcity in the Land of Plenty.” The Home Front: U.S.A., Time-Life Books, 1991, p. 156.
3. Leta Rhodes founded Olive Knolls Christian School in 1979.
4. Matthew 16:25-26 (NIV 1983)