“‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. “‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!’”

“‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. “‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!’”

That verse, found in Ecclesiastes 1:2, was the centerpiece behind an unexpected message at Central Christian College’s graduation ceremonies, which took place last Saturday afternoon.

Dr. Leonard Favara, the senior academic administrator for the college, was the deliverer of the message.

“The book of Ecclesiastes talks of generations coming and going, people living and dying,” Favara said. “It is a litany of monotony.”

Favara compared the book of scripture, written by ancient Israel King Solomon, to “The Road Not Taken,” written by American poet Robert Frost.

In the Bible, King Solomon is noted as the wisest man to have ever lived.

Favara said the road of life extends into one of two roads; one of folly, living in the moment, and one of wisdom, and applying what one has learned in the world. In the end, Favara said, King Solomon found both roads meaningless.

“I achieved more than anyone else, but all I have is my wisdom,” Favara said, paraphrasing Ecclesiastes 2:9.

Favara said while Solomon found much of what he did in life meaningless, he still had fun. Favara encouraged graduates to feel free to seek success and enjoyment, but to know where meaning comes from.

“Go ahead, be successful,” Favara said. “Be successful, get a building named after you. But at the end, it is meaningless.”

Favara reminded graduates seeking only the pleasures and successes in life is like trying to catch wind; in the end, it is meaningless. Instead, Favara said to focus on what God wanted for your life, and then, he said, nothing you do is meaningless.

“You can’t capture the wind, but you can sure harness it’s power,” Favara said. “My challenge to you is to find where the wind of God is blowing.”

Central president pranks students

As part of the commencement ceremonies for the graduation, Central Christian College president Hal Hoxie brought forward trash cans filled with 2013 paper airplanes.

Hoxie said he taught in the U.S. Air Force for six years. During that time, he said students in an aerodynamics class would make paper airplanes and see which would fly the furthest.

Students from Central’s 2013 class created 2013 paper airplanes, made out of the student’s former assignments, and filled Hoxie’s office with them.

Hoxie handed those same airplanes out to Central staff, and proceeded to fling the airplanes back at graduates.

No severe paper cuts or poked eyes were reported.

Central’s 2013 graduating class included 96 graduates with bachelor’s degrees, and 20 with an associate’s degree. There were four valedictorians; A.J. Ellis, Kevin Ensz, Troy Richter and Joshua Schneider, each with 4.0 GPAs. The salutatorian was Stephen Craig, with a 3.91 GPA.

Joseph Tuszynski can be reached at jtuszynski@mcphersonsentinel.com, or follow him on Twitter @JoeTSentinel.