Monday, May 16, 2011

To Be Educated

My daughter Marissa graduated from James Madison University last weekend. All the pomp and circumstance got me thinking about the meaning of education. And then I remembered this insightful piece that a friend had given me years ago.

To Be Educated

By Carolyn Caines, Columbia Heights Christian Academy

If I learn my ABC's, can read 600 words per minute, and can write with perfect penmanship, but have not been shown how to communicate with the Designer of all language, I have not been educated.

If I can deliver an eloquent speech and persuade you with my stunning logic, but have not been instructed in God's wisdom, I have not been educated.

If I have read Shakespeare and John Locke and can discuss their writings with keen insight, but have not read the greatest of all books--the Bible--and have no knowledge of its personal importance, I have not been educated.

If I have memorized addition facts, multiplication tables and chemical formulas, but have never been disciplined to hide God's Word in my heart, I have not been educated.

If I can explain the law of gravity and Einstein's theory of relativity, but have never been instructed in the unchangeable laws of the One Who orders our universe, I have not been educated.

If I can classify animals by their family, genus and species, and can write a lengthy scientific paper that wins awards, but have not been introduced to the Maker's purpose for all creation, I have not been educated.

If I can play the piano, the violin, six other instruments, and can write music that moves men to tears, but have not been taught to listen to the Director of the Universe and worship Him, I have not been educated.

If I can run cross-country races, star in basketball and do 100 push-ups without stopping, but have never been shown how to bend my spirit to do God's will, I have not been educated.

If I can identify a Picasso, describe the style of Da Vinci, and even paint a portrait that earns an A+, but have not learned that all harmony and beauty comes from a relationship with God, I have not been educated.

If I graduate with a perfect 4.0 and am accepted at the best university with full scholarship, but have not been guided into a career of God's choosing for me, I have not been educated.

If I become a good citizen, voting at each election and fighting for what is moral and right, but have not been told of the sinfulness of man and his hopelessness without Christ, I have not been educated.

However, if one day, I see the World as God sees it, and come to know Him, Whom to know is life eternal, and glorify God by fulfilling His purpose for me, then , I have been educated.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why the title? The Moon is a Liar?

Why would a blog about family, faith and adoption be titled, "The Moon is a Liar?"

Because I think this Romanian folk saying summarizes life under the sun.

The Romanian word for the moon in the waxing crescent phase (top drawing) starts with a letter that looks like the shape of the moon in the opposite phase (bottom drawing) and vice versa. The saying was used to help school children remember to use the word starting with the letter OPPOSItE the shape of the moon when naming it. When I first heard a Romanian say this, it stopped me in my tracks. This statement was inadvertently conveying profound spiritual truth.

The natural world and our natural human inclinations lead us to conclude one thing, but the Spirit of God speaks a better (and radically contrary) Word.

"There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." Proverbs 14:12

Jesus said some hard words in the Gospel of Matthew,

"For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it."


"Whoever wants to become great among you, must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first, must be your slave--"

and this from I Cor. 1:27 - 29, "But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.

That is why he chose: me, a person who thought she should have a career unincumbered by marriage and family, to be the mother of 11... me, a person afraid to fly in a plane, to travel to places all over the globe to bring home his, a person who needs more sleep and is less organized than the average person, to run a household of husband, who really just wanted to be a gym teacher, to provide for this brood...

That is why: a "throw-away" Romanian orphan, born without arms, plays the cello more beautifully than many with abandoned Indian orphan is a straight A student in an American school and a leader of youth in his church...

That is why: dear friends of ours, self-professed materialists, caught up in the allure of the world to the point of near self-destruction, are now powerful apologists for the transforming work of God's grace to a needy world...

Yes, the moon is a liar...but God tells the truth.