Learning plays a lot of different roles over the course of our lives. Our younger years are filled with learning that primarily happens inside the four corners of the academe. And, yet, there are several things that we missed learning in school that are just as important in adulthood as math or language.
During my time as an educational practitioner, I experienced both the structured side of education and the lacks of the system. Though school teaches us from the basics of arithmetic to the rigors of calculus, there is so much more to be learned outside the four corners of a classroom.
Learning From the Scriptures: What We Didn’t Learn in School
1. Life is a never-ending roller coaster of ups and downs.
Once we get out of the comfort of school, we soon realize that supporting ourselves without asking our parents for help is actually kind of hard. All this while having to deal and adjust with difficult people at work can be quite a feat. And the greatest challenge is keeping it all together to survive.
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
Grade school, high school, and college life never taught us the specifics of the problems in life. And they sure didn’t give us a template on how to solve them one by one. As some research shows, school does very little to teach us about emotional intelligence. Most adults have to learn it by trial and error later in life. In fact, the lack of emotional intelligence education in schools contributes to increased cases of depression and anxiety among teens. It’s a pressing issue that requires we assess what exactly students need nowadays.
Though life can be difficult, it can also certainly be beautiful, fun, and joyful. The bad moments lead into the good and vice versa. The good news about it, though, is that we know we have a loving Father who is with us all the way. When we walk through life aware that we will face trials, it suddenly doesn’t feel so daunting. It’s only when we are under the illusion that life should be perfect that the hard moments seem so detrimental. There is a comfort to knowing we will encounter difficulties because within that knowledge is the implication that there is always the opportunity for us to stand back up again.
2. There is more to life than just graduating in school, having a career, getting married, and having kids.
Often times, after accomplishing all of these so-called “priorities” in the bucket list of life, feelings of dissatisfaction still remain. When that happens, we are left with that one-million-dollar question: “What is my purpose in this world?”
We realize that a high-paying career doesn’t give us the happiness and satisfaction that we crave. In fact, this realization jolts us back to the age-old reality that, indeed, money can’t buy us happiness. So what is it that makes a man happy, content, and at peace?
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
“Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:6)
God makes it pretty clear in His word that we can have all that the world has to offer and still be empty inside. While getting an education, finding love, building a family, and having a successful career are all good things, they will never be enough without the presence of God in our lives. With God at the center, everything begins to take shape and have purpose in our lives. In fact, He is the purpose!
3. Life without God is even more difficult.
When we stop to contemplate why we do what we do in our lives, we quickly realize that there must be more to life than worldly pleasures. The ups and downs of life become so much more difficult when we live only for personal gain.
Related Post: The Top 3 Distractions that Can Defeat Your Purpose
The writer of Ecclesiastes 3 regarded everything as meaningless in a life lived without purpose. Everything begins and ends so cyclically that we can begin to believe nothing matters. But when we are plugged into God, all of that changes. Things of this earth in and of themselves are meaningless, but in God, all things take shape and have their meaning.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
If starting today we decide to do everything for the glory of God, every moment of our life will have meaning. And even if we have reached the end of our lives here on Earth, we won’t regard it with despair, hopelessness, sadness, and regrets. Instead, we will rejoice that we were able to do so much with God’s guidance and able to fulfill the tasks that He asked us to do by seeking His will in everything.
Living What We Learn
Nowadays, schools are adapting to the changes and needs of modern society. There are now progressive schools that follow experiential learning as their curriculum standards where the learning of every child goes out beyond the four corners of the academe. In contrast to the academe, the Scripture offers us the chance to learn how to deal with life. But these lessons will only have bearing and meaning if they have been applied and lived out in our daily lives – our guide to live a purposeful life.
In the end, though life is guaranteed to have its ups and downs, and though worldly achievements can leave us empty, a life with God is a life fulfilled. He makes all things new and works all things for the good. Academic success may seem a noble goal, but it is all for naught without the presence of our Father, God.