8th September 2021

I’m writing this on 2nd September, the first day at primary school for Rachel’s grand-daughter. Four-and-a-half years seem to have gone quickly since River was born. A myriad of educational opportunities await her. Who knows where ‘finding out’ will lead? Although we grown-ups know it, it won’t be helpful at this point for a four-year-old to be told that she will have to be in school/college until eighteen. Let her revel in the day-to-day discovery that learning brings! In time, that knowledge will be applied and marked by qualifications leading to employment. There will come, over the years, a growing realisation of the process that she has been a part of since that first day at school; that this process is building and leading somewhere, somewhere good and to her advantage, and hopefully to her personal satisfaction and happiness.

However, education is too often seen only as for a practical purpose, and by some simply  as training for the world of work. I’m always encouraged when I hear an undergraduate say ‘I don’t know’ when asked ‘What are you going to do next?’; someone is enjoying learning for it’s own sake! Yes, learning should have an intrinsic value as well as being a stepping-stone to something else.

How dull life is if we cannot revel in discovering what a wonderful, colourful, complex, intriguing, fascinating, and awesome world God has placed us in. First, wallow in it – simply enjoy God; then see if it has a practical purpose!

Dave Bell