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The Gift Of Education

by Rev. Mark Connolly

Many centuries ago Jesus Christ said, "unless you become as a little child you shall not enter the kingdom of God." And Scriptural scholars have told us that these words of Christ remind us of their enthusiasm, their openness, their sense of trust and so many beautiful childlike qualities.

Shortly a few million children will start back to school and bring forth into their classrooms many of the positive qualities that Christ had in mind when he said, "unless you become as a little child..."

Everyone of us has memories from our days in elementary school. And most of our memories are pretty good. All of us know that education is a life long endeavor. Maria Montessori once said that the "child yearns to learn and cannot wait to create." That thought about learning should apply to all of us. Education, whether it is in the classroom or out of the classroom, helps us grow. And there is a basic truism, if you don't grow a little bit everyday, then you die a little bit every day. The mind has to be open to change. The mind has to integrate the best thoughts and experiences from the past and incorporate them with the best thoughts and experiences in the present.

Another aspect of education is what AA teaches - take one day at a time. Christ proclaimed this years ago when he said, "sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." As we have read in the past, yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is reality.

All of us in this battle of life have experienced hurts and wounds. Life gives everyone a variety of battle scars. But we can never drag those scars into today's living if we want to do clear thinking, if we want to grow and change.

Education is more than just the formal years we spent in the classrooms. Education is taking the challenges you face each day and doing your best to conquer them. Education is taking the crosses you carry and making sure they never overpower you. Education is learning from others. Education is learning what God wants you to do while on earth.

In the final analysis of our life, after all our formal experiences and informal experiences, in and out of the classroom, education helps us to follow a map of life that enables us to find God now and at the hour of our death. Education is a wonderful source of joy and happiness. It enables us to have the zest and enthusiasm that we see in children starting back to school. And Christ has reminded us, no matter how educated we might be, "unless you become as little children, you shall not enter the kingdom of God." Education is the instrument God uses so that all of us can enter his kingdom.

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