Wow…it has been almost exactly a month since I blogged last and the topic of that last post is still making headlines today. It’s like a soap opera…you can miss a few weeks, come back and realize you have not missed anything. Actually, this particular topic is like a soap opera in more ways than one! Apparently Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, has reached an agreement allowing his estranged wife to sell the team but the NBA is pursuing its stated intention to terminate the Sterlings’ ownership of the team and take over the sale. I commented last time on the dangers of any entity being permitted to forcibly take over private property so I will not “go there” again today.
The real reason for my absence from this space for the past month has not had anything to do with Donald Sterling and certainly has not been for lack of topics I could have commented upon. If only there were a way for my thoughts to be translated into words and posted on this site… Never mind, that would be more than a little scary…for you and for me. No, the real reason has been the busy-ness of the end of the school year. The school where I serve is not unique in its tendency to pack an abundance of activities into the last few weeks of school, from drama productions to music concerts to awards ceremonies to field trips. And that was just last week! No, I’m kidding, it wasn’t really that bad…but close.
The end of a school year is always bittersweet for me, and I know I am not alone. I am (almost) always surprised at how quickly the end of the year comes around. In August, as the school year gets started, it always feels like the year will drag on…the finish line is nowhere in sight and barely even seems imaginable. Then all of a sudden it’s Thanksgiving, then there’s the blitz to Christmas, and then the entire second semester is a blur.
As I reflect on the successful completion of another school year I am again humbled by the privilege that it is to be in a position to influence and shape the lives and minds of young people. Sometimes I think to myself, “Why in the world would God allow any human being to be responsible for teaching human children?!? Surely there is a better way, a more efficient and far more effective way, to instill whatever knowledge they need….” That is true, of course. God could create us already hardwired with the knowledge we need. He could easily eliminate the need for schools entirely. God could create us to love and obey Him automatically too, but He doesn’t.
Of course God did not create schools. Schools are not one of the ordained institutions we find in Scripture. I believe the Bible gives the responsibility for teaching and training children to parents. The Bible ordains the family, the church and government (though not in that order). Unfortunately, in today’s society, the first of those often leaves it to the last of those to take care of teaching and training the children and the middle one may or may not be involved. There is room for healthy and legitimate debate as to whether or not the government should be involved in the education of children and, if it is, to what extent it should be involved. I have spent plenty of words in this space talking about that issue and I am not going to focus on that here. Regardless of what you may believe about the government’s responsibility when it comes to education, though, there can be no debate among those who believe the Bible that the family must be involved. The church should be involved, too.
I am privileged to serve at a school where the government involvement and oversight is minimal…and where the family and the church join with our school in creating a three-strand cord to educate the students we serve. I may not know why God allows me to be involved in shaping the lives of today’s students but I am glad that He does… because, truth be told, they’re involved in shaping my life, too.