Education is Wonder

Proverbs 25:2 tells us, “It’s the glory of the Lord to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out.” This is the essence of education. God has hidden knowledge all throughout the universe, and our job is discovering how algebra, grammar, plot structures, biology, astronomy and a host of other hidden topics work. The secrets of these subjects lie waiting to be discovered, like buried treasure. Our children act as kings and queens out hunting daily to unearth them.

Learning something new carries a simple thrill. My first grade son bounced to the dinner table a few months ago, delighted to proclaim the difference between adjectives and adverbs. I, myself, remember the pleasure when I learned about the simple system of the water-cycle. Evaporation leading to precipitation was fascinating and fun to my young mind. Then there was the sweet satisfaction of working out theorems in my high school geometry class. Our teacher would toss an impossible looking problem on the board and tell us to solve it. We would plod along, step by step, failing in some efforts, but ultimately finding some way to crack the code he’d given us. Gratification was the reward for this geometric grist-grinding procedure.

Why the burst of pleasure when solving a problem or discovering something new? What is it about unearthing these little treasures that makes us momentarily happy and satisfied? John Calvin’s thoughts, though a bit stout, are helpful here. In his Institutes he notes:

“Since the perfection of blessedness consists in the knowledge of God, He has been pleased, in order that none might be excluded from the means of obtaining [happiness] to manifest His perfections in the whole structure of the universe, and daily place Himself in our view, that we cannot open our eyes without being compelled to behold Him. His essence, indeed is incomprehensible, utterly transcending all human thought, but on each of His works, His glory is engraved in characters so bright, so distinct, and so illustrious ”

Calvin says that God’s great desire is for us to find happiness in Him. To help us get there, he has stamped imprints of Himself upon everything in creation so we cannot open our eyes without catching glimpses of Him. These fingerprints of God are not just found in nature, but in algebra, grammar, plot structures, history, languages and all the other subjects our kids will study throughout their educational career. It’s as if all of creation is one gigantic “One Way” road sign, pointing us to God all day long.

My hunch is that the wonder we derive from the treasure hunt of education originates here. Those “aha!” moments, where we experience how breathtaking learning can be, are so satisfying because, in some way, they are revealing some aspect of the most Magnificent Being in the universe. Education is full of wonder because when learning is done correctly it will guide us to the God who is Wonder. It is my pleasure to daily labor for these goals, along with our faithful staff. Happy treasure hunting!

Corey McEachran

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