Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Morning Thanks--a Christian education
I'm not blind to the limitations. It's not hard at all for us to get a little snooty. In fact, it's pretty easy to get to thinking we're somehow better than others. You don't even have to hear that being said to start thinking it either: there's us and there's them. You got to fight the old "holier-than-thou" thing.
Because there's an inherent exclusivity to the entire operation. Not everyone goes, after all. Only some. Lots don't. Most don't. But we do. We're blessed, aren't we?
You know?--that kind of thing.
Thank the Lord that there are more people of color these days, many more. For way too many years it was only white kids--and of a certain ethnic flavor too. For too many years, the whole business was monochrome and wooden-shoed. For too many years, Brown vs. the Board of Education seemed entirely irrelevant, as if we were immune to charges of segregation. We weren't. We aren't.
Here below, it's a chore for most of us to stay humble, not to think we've got all answers the world hungrily awaits, to look at others as if they're truly un-blessed. It's very hard for us to be reminded that there's as much sin and darkness in us as there is in that woebegone family just down the block, to have to swallow the pride the human heart, no matter what model or vintage, quite regularly serves up to all of us.
And it's just as hard to have to say you might have been really judgmental about things--about dinosaurs or evolution, about a whole host of nay-saying: about the devils and dancing, or card-playing, or a glass of wine or beards and bell-bottoms. It's difficult to have to confess we're not always right and not always righteous.
It's hard to admit that might just keep some people away simply by way of the high cost of admission. Guess what? we're expensive. Maybe too much.
Last night I parked a football field away, walked into a stuffed-to-the rafters college chapel, then watched and listened to 500+ kids dressed in ten different-colored t-shirts on a huge stage, all of them standing and singing their hearts out, telling a packed house the story of what they'd learned--each of them, each of the grades--about living in God's world throughout this school year.
It was a ball, a joy, a blessing to be there and to sing along.
This morning's thanks is primary-school easy. I'm greatly thankful that my grandson, a second-grader, was up there among 'em. This public high school graduate spent four wonderful years teaching in public high schools, four years I wouldn't trade for anything. I've never rejected or feared American public education. It's free and it's an immense blessing for all of us.
But neither have I forgotten the scripture verse printed on the report cards we lugged home every six weeks of my own grade school years sixty years ago. What that verse maintained is what I still believe, even if, back then, the marks inside weren't always God-glorifying. "The fear of the Lord," the old card said, "is the beginning of wisdom."
You can parse that sentence a dozen different ways. You can wage theological warfare with the word "fear." Go ahead and interpret it your way.
But to me what it means is what it says, and that's why this morning I'm thankful my grandson, last night, was one of those rambunctious kids up in front (in a robin's egg blue t-shirt), rockin' and rollin' through the story of his year in a Christian school.