Not many high school juniors can tell you what it is like to be featured in The New York Times for their investigative journalism work.
Maddie Baden, a 17-year old junior at Pittsburg High School in Kansas, is one of the few who can tell you all about it.
A staff reporter for her school’s student-run newspaper The Booster Redux, Maddie set out to interview her school’s newly-hired principal, Amy Robertson, in hopes of profiling her for the student body in their coming issue.
After researching Ms. Robertson’s background and interviewing her multiple times, Maddie was stunned by the lack of clarity with which her principal spoke about her background. While she claimed to have earned graduate and doctoral degrees from the unaccredited Corllins University, Maddie could find no evidence of her enrollment at that institution. And though she had international teaching experience in the United Arab Emirates as principal of a school in Dubai, her teaching license in the country had been revoked. With the support of her teacher and other administrators, Maddie persisted in writing the story.
The newspaper staff ultimately ran the article on their front page with the headline “District Hires New Principal” with “Background called into question after discrepancies arise” set immediately beneath. Four days later, Ms. Robertson resigned.
Moses writes in the book of Numbers that “your sin will find you out.” I recently heard Matt Chandler describe this verse as “a promise, not a maybe.” While we may deceive ourselves to believe that knowledge of our sin is limited to our own conscience, Luke writes in his gospel that “nothing is concealed that won’t be revealed, and nothing hidden that won’t be made known and come to light.”
If you are like me, you sometimes wish your autobiography read a little differently. If you could go back, you would change a few plotlines and alter your past steps. This story provokes a question for us as believers in Jesus Christ: is the truth good enough for us?
The reality is even if we wish our true stories read differently, The Lord has already written the best version of our story himself. David writes in the Psalms that “all of our days were written and planned before a single one of them began.”
We can all probably imagine a past, present, or future that is more appealing to us from our current vantage point. However, the best story is the one that was written before the dawn of time by “the author and perfecter of our faith.” Ultimately, intimacy with God is the most satisfying element we can ever experience on both sides of heaven. Fullness of life is not found in our resume, whether it is impressive or not.
The version of our lives that has unfolded (and will continue to unfold) is the best version because it was written by a God who makes no mistakes. This liberates us to be satisfied in the story God has written for us. Is the truth good enough for you today?