Education is Needy
The farmhouse looked like a once-glorious site for a homestead. Now a not-nearly-upright abandoned shack, its leaning frame foretold it’s eventual fate. We’d drive by a few times a year on trips from Wenatchee to Spokane, keeping tabs on its progressive dilapidation. The massive supports that used to prop up the protruding second story balcony had been removed long ago. Suspended in mid air, the balcony taunted gravity. On our last visit to Wenatchee, we drove by once again. The inevitable occurred. Gravity won. The house crumbled into an oversized game of pick-up-stix.
Education is needy. Just like a house needs a solid foundation, for an education to stand the test of time, it needs immovable footings. Currently, our culture is seeking to prop education up with all sorts of broken supports. People pull together a hodge-podge of different beliefs in order to undergird their educational pursuits. Relativism, Darwinism, post-modernism, humanism, and all sorts of others “isms” are grasped at, in the hopes of creating an adequate mental framework for their pursuit of knowledge. All of these lesser gods are too weak and small to provide such a comprehensive framework.
When we turn to the scriptures, we see the only sure foundation upon which we can build an education is the one true God. Proverbs 1:7 states plainly what this foundation must be: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” We can’t begin our pursuit of knowledge until we’ve laid the foundation in the form of a proper relationship with God. When we hear someone described as one who fears the Lord, we tend to think that this is a mark of an older, more mature disciple. But according to Proverbs, fearing the Lord should come right in line with Kindergarten. This is where the pursuit of knowledge begins.
The founders of Harvard College understood this principle. One of their school rules stated: “Let every student be plainly instructed, and earnestly pressed to consider well [that] the main end of his life and studies is, to know God and Jesus Christ…and therefore to lay Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.”
Without this foundation, education becomes a series of disconnected bits of information instead of the amazing, interconnected web of knowledge that it truly is. This idea may seem unimportant or overly theoretical, but it is supremely pragmatic. A shaky foundation will only be magnified the higher you build, making the entire structure unsound. As we continue to build our little school, please join us in praying that we might be faithful in laying Christ as the cornerstone of all our educational pursuits.