We are living in very exciting times! We are in the middle of a time of a revolutionary convergence of many factors in the field of education. We have incredible tools such as the Internet, laptops, and all kinds of digital devices available to us at lower prices and more accessible than ever before. We are continually learning more about how we have been created, how our brains work, the significance of our emotions, and the best ways children learn. There is a greater recognition than ever about the significance of the spiritual side of humanity. We are moving quickly toward anywhere, anytime learning and can connect with others around the world. Electronic access eases our use of data to help us be more effective and accountable, helps us to communicate more frequently and easily, and to deliver faster and better customized products. Teaching is being dramatically changed by student access to information – perhaps the biggest change we have seen in education in our lifetimes.
Our challenge is of course to not only help each other deal with this time of incredible change, but to encourage each other to stay focused on the right things. Then we can teach our students how to discern and see God’s truth and His wisdom in an age of “whatever” (the defining word of a post-modern generation). Changing times call for changing tools and unchanging truth.
Not surprisingly an overarching theme that emerged from the gathering of church and school leaders at the recent Googling Youth conference at Calvin College this summer was the recognition that more speed needed to equal more reflection and devotion time. We must build in reflection and quiet time for ourselves and for our kids. I wonder if we could remind ourselves and others (gently!) about how much “busy talk” we engage in on a daily basis. What I mean is summarized best in this quote from Robinson and Godbey in a recent Futurist magazine article on the use of time: “It is now a mark of status to claim one is perpetually busy.” In our driven to success North American culture have we been co-opted to believe that being busier than the next person somehow raises us above them? Is this a matter of wrongful pride and status seeking on our parts? Check yourself this week – how many times are you saying “I’m so busy?” As the kids say, “It’s all good,” but are we also helping them to “be still and know that I am God?” Are we doing this for ourselves?
Rising above our enjoyment of progress, the blinding rapidity of change, and our battles with busyness, our celebration in all of this is that as Christians we are now living in the details – the outcome is certain. We celebrate the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and live in the absolute joy of his freedom and restoration of people and the planet! Let’s encourage each other to stay focused on the right things – the unchanging truth of the Word. What better work than being able to testify to children and youth about how all things truly cohere in Christ, to help them gain discernment and wisdom, and to be a part of the work of the Holy Spirit through helping nurture them in faith!