Today President Obama spoke about his hopes and dreams for improving education here in our great country. You can read more about it here. I certainly don’t argue with him about the need to improve our educational system. But I would like to take issue with him (and basically every President previous that I have known) about the REASONS WHY he wants to improve our education. According to Obama and the general thinking of our age, the general purpose of education is to drive the economy and provide jobs for everyone. Now, I am not arguing that education is a (or “the”) main driving force of our economic engine. It is. And not only is it important on the larger national scale, it is also important for us individually in the struggle to get a job and sustain our families economically.
HOWEVER… The question is if this should be THE purpose in education? Is EVERYTHING about seeking after the cares of this world? Perhaps this week’s scripture lections will teach us differently. King Solomon speaks of the vanity of seeking after the things of this world. Jesus speaks about the rich fool whose only care is building bigger barns. And in Colossians:
Col. 3:1-2 (ESV)
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
At The Lutheran Academy we have a much different aim for education: to equip God’s people for SERVICE to God and our fellow man… The purpose of education is to identify and nurture those gifts which God gives each person – so that their lives might be a beautiful praise to the Lord. The purpose of education is to set our minds not on earthly things, but on HEAVENLY things.
Yes, through our education we might very well be blessed in obtaining the things of this world. Praise be to God from whom all good things come. But these things are secondary. They are by-products of a heart set on loving and serving God and our fellow man.
Take it or leave it. But there is blessing in trusting the Lord on this!