This blog rings similar to a previous blog I have written. I believe God has put this burden on my heart. These generations of students are growing up in a world that spends a lot of money to look pretty on the outside without regard for the ugliness on the inside. They watch people killing innocent people in random places, they see the sins that God declares as sin being embraced as acceptable, they see the plans of the enemy to destroy families shrouded by the mantra of doing what makes you happy is all that matters and they see God being removed from everything as if He didn’t exist.
So, educating children means so much more than book learning and teaching them how to take notes and pass tests. It is about teaching them character, integrity and how to have respect for themselves and others. It is about teaching them that the world is bigger than their sum of experiences and that it never revolves totally around them. It is about teaching them about teamwork and how to esteem someone higher than themselves. It also involves helping them see their true value the way God sees them.
When eyes are so used to looking inward at their own desires and wants, it can be quite a challenge to shift their gaze to a world who is lost and in need of Jesus. They are being raised in the part of the world where selfishness is almost a badge of honor and a human right is to be pursued and fought for. It makes seeing beyond the wall of broken humanity into the real travesties of the world a challenge. Being brought up in an instant gratification culture that pivots on the idea of entitlement has not done our kids any service at all. In fact, it has blinded them to a much bigger world beyond the United States that is not based on individual rights and freedom.
Many have not had the privilege of seeing what true suffering looks like. They have not walked one step in the world beyond our borders that does not allow for freedom hinged on individual rights. They have not felt the sweat of fear pouring down their face as a powerful force squelches all sense of individualism into a pool of utter submission. They have not hidden in secret with the knowledge they could die for their faith as they worship God.
Now, that is not to say that some of our students have not suffered in life. We know that everyone has a story and many of their stories bring tears to my eyes as I think of them. And I don’t mean to minimize their problems in the least. But I want to raise their awareness beyond their storyline to see the world as our Lord sees it. To look at people with compassion and empathy who have deep sadness behind their smiling face. To be driven to passionate prayer for those believers around the world who are trapped in tyranny beyond their control. To see the harvest just waiting for us to tend to.
God has called His people with no respect of gender or age to be a light in this lost and dying world. The Word tells us to not despise small beginnings. We want to help them take small steps into seeing beyond their life’s story into a world in need of seeds being planted, plants needing watering and then watching God bring it to completion through the work of the Holy Spirit. We want to help them see that not everything in life is immediate. Those things worthwhile and of Kingdom value often take time and tender loving care.
So you see, educating our students is so much more than book learning. God has given us an incredible opportunity to help these “sponges” see things through a Christian worldview rather than through the toxic view our world paints for them on a canvas of lies. It is a huge responsibility but also an amazing privilege. My prayer is that we help give them the tools needed to see truth over lies, to hear God over the enemy, to choose words of life over words of death, to prefer kindness to selfishness, to embrace holiness over rebellion and to be a slave to Christ rather than living in bondage to self.
He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Luke 10:2-3
Lord, my heart grieves over the world we live in. As bad as I see my country falling, I know there are countries around the world that have lived under religious oppression forever. God open our eyes to see what is really happening and open our hearts with passion to pray for those being persecuted and for those who are in desperate need of You in their life. Help our students become sensitized to the world outside the bubbles they live in. Let them see what a difference they can make in the Kingdom as they learn to surrender all of their desires and pick up those You give to them. Help us as educators point the way and set the example. We need You so desperately! Amen