School: Don’t Just Get Through It! Get To It!

So, here’s the dilemma:

I’m teaching a 6th grade boys Sunday School class. We do “High-Low” every week where each kid says what the high point of his week was along with the low point. In many instances, the low points is “school.”

Let’s talk about “school” for a minute.

chart1You’re Working…

After you graduate, the vast majority of your life will be spent in the workplace. That’s not a bad thing. Great things are done in the context of “working.” That’s where you’re making a difference and not just a wage.

Consider this:

Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there he placed the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. . . . Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it (Gen 2:7-9; 15).

The word “cultivate” is the Hebrew for “work” or “service.” Mind you this is before the Fall of Man. So the template for mankind, right from the start, was to work.

Do Something You Enjoy

Thing is, you want to work at something that’s consistent with the passion and the skillset that God has embedded into you.

Look at Bezalel (BEHZ-ah-lehl) and Oholiab (oh-HOHL-lih-ab):

30 Then Moses said to the Israelites, “See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, 31 and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills— 32 to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, 33 to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts. 34 And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamak, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. 35 He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers—all of them skilled workers and designers. (Ex 35:30-35)

They weren’t just “fortunate,” in terms of what their artistic abilities, nor or were they just “gifted” teachers. They were given these skills by their Creator and in a similar fashion, you too have been given specific skills which are often manifested in the context of things that you’re naturally drawn to (Jas 1:17).

Work at It! Be Smart and be Wise!

But however you might find certain activities appealing, the only way you’re going to hone your craft and sharpen your skillset, the only way you’re going to get to a place where you’re being tapped for the kind of job(s) you really want to do –  is through training and a good education (2 Chron 2:3-13; Prov 22:29; 2 Tim 1:6).

Take a look at these verses in Proverbs:

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge. (Prov 18:15)

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers. (Prov 19:8)

The bottom line is: Wisdom. It says in Proverbs 9:10:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Prov 9:10)

That’s your top button. Everything lines up just the way that it needs to when you’ve got your eyes focused on the One Who knows your future, Who has the Plan that was designed exclusively for you, according to the way you’re wired. Seeking Him out for the direction you need in order to stay on track is just common sense.

From there, however, you’re looking at the kind of education you have available to you through the public school system:

  • History: Understanding and appreciating the noble milestones in human history and also learning from the mistakes that were made in the past (2 Kings 22:11-13)
  • Science and Mathematics: Getting to a place where you can do simple to intermediate calculations and better appreciate the elegant enormity of the cosmos along with the exquisite intricacy of the atomic world (Rom 1:20)
  • Social Studies: Learning about different cultures and even the more subtle characteristics of your own country (1 Chron 12: 32)

Broaden Your Base

From now until the time you graduate High School, your only real responsibility right now is to simply improve yourself. For the most part, you’re not having to concern yourself with paying the electric bill for your home or making enough money to purchase groceries for this week. All you’re really being tasked with is broadening your base and increasing your capacity for more responsibility and with that, more opportunity.

Whatever it is about school that resonates as a chore reverberates that way simply because you’re not stepping back and appreciating the big picture. It’s not just “facts” that you’re memorizing, it’s the stretching of your mind – it’s the enrichment of your soul – which ultimately translates to a life that is truly lived as opposed to an existence that is merely endured.

Don’t Get “Through It!” Get “To It!”

Furthermore, you want to bear in mind that you have access to a pool of Resources that enable you to be just as diligent and as disciplined that you need to in order to excel. “Self Control” is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). Use it! Honor the command that’s in Ecclesiastes 9:10 as far as doing it “with all your might” and you’ll find that as you invest your time and effort, you begin to take pride in what you’re doing and what was laborious a moment ago, now registers as genuinely fulfilling and even enjoyable.

Don’t be satisfied with just “getting through it!” “Get to it!” Enjoy all the benefits that go along with being diligent and disciplined and not just with your studies, but also in the context of your spiritual disciplines (2 Tim 2:15). Your relationship with Christ is meant to be “lived out” (Phil 2:12-13). Recognize the way in which your education is part of the way God is preparing you for the “good works” you’ve been designed to accomplish (Eph 2:10) and don’t be satisfied with anything less than your best (Col 3:17).

Go get ’em!

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