Back To Books
Here in Ontario, Canada, almost all of us go back to school the day after Labour Day.
And I eagerly anticipate getting back to teaching my public elementary class of 9 and 10 year olds after a hot summer vacation…no pulling your leg, really, I do (although going into the primary end of the school is somewhat terrifying…too much chaotic and rapid development going on there, plus the danger of their short size tripping me up—it’s like NASCAR races without the protective fences).
As many of you can relate, I’ve had peaks and valleys of passion for my job. Generally, I’ve had an extended run of enthusiasm and fulfillment after my own two children long passed the stage of parental dependence (not that I satisfied nearly as many of their needs as my wife Arlene, who actually home schooled them in their formative and adolescent years).
I honestly feel right now that I have the best job in the world…and I feel like the inspiration is far from reaching its limit.
My favourite podcast comes from Ravi Zacharias. I love his philosophy, his speaking style, his storytelling, his apologetics, his mental brilliance…in fact, I think I love the man.
In Ravi fashion, he makes what is a typical poignant, epic statement:
“The ultimate test of any civilization is what we do with our children.”
Oh thanks, Ravi. No pressure for those who spend any time influencing children. The comment jolts any thinking and feeling adult, unless narcissism and self-preservation has totally decapitated one’s objective mental outlook. But I am not above being narcissistic either, in fact I’m quite enamoured with my personal opinions and driving skills… plumbing abilities, not so much.
So how do I re-evaluate my intentions for teaching in light of Ravi’s proclamation? Am I teaching for self-gratification, status, comfort? Or for the sake of children, families, and the good of civilization itself?
Alas, I didn’t share the remainder of Zacharias’ statement earlier, as he claims that this test of civilization is “one I’m afraid we would fail the minimal test of civility…”
It’s hard truth. How do I dare grade children if I myself fail in how I value and love them, or with how I provide stellar guidance? It’s hard truth with a simple solution—allow and invite the Holy Spirit to lead through the classroom door each day.
Seeking To Lead
And just as my teaching passion has been somewhat of a roller coaster for twenty-four years, so has been my reliance on God to lead. He loves my students and their families far more than I am capable. Why not take some of the pressure off, and be a Kingdom Teacher with the King in charge, and let civilization be better for it!
There is no better guidance than from Romans 12:2: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
If we agree with Zacharias’ lofty assertion and want to pass the test in raising our children, where do we go from here? We can’t merely pass or fail “the minimal test of civility.”
We need to reach and surpass the balance of work ethic and moral intelligence of our ancestors. We should desire actions that fulfill the will of God.
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
We require transformed minds, produced through godly training. Only then can we finally do what we are called to do after centuries of struggling: lead, guide, and influence generations of children in a manner that will grow a stronger civilization that will not fall into destruction.
I pray this establishes the importance for Christian adults to lead. In the near future, together we can uphold and determine in further detail the “how to” part.
Until then, Happy Back to School to many families!
Press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14 (NKJV)
Back to School and Impacting Civilization