A classical education is possible only if God is immutable and man is not. We, as educators, are dependent upon God to remain the same and to be faithful to His promises for the good of our students. We are dependent on man’s ability to change and grow if we are to see our efforts bear any fruit in the lives of our students.
One day, when my husband got home from work, he joined me at the kitchen window to watch our children. "What are they doing?" he asked.
"Digging, of course.”
While searching for a new house, my children had had one request: a place to dig.
“What do they want with a hole? When will they know to stop?”
I looked at him and shrugged, unknowing.
It has been said, mostly in old westerns, “don’t change horses in the middle of the stream.” However, that does not rule out going all the way across and deciding you’re riding the wrong horse, or that you crossed the wrong river, or that you’re going in the wrong direction, or that something screwy is going on. Anyway, I have such a story to tell.
How do words work? It depends on who you ask. Socrates felt words were not worth studying, that only things themselves are. Words, he thought, are much like an artist’s imitation—they are a likeness but not the true thing. His explanation seems to imply some sort of lack or falsity.
I am going to make one of those statements that my wife, Laura, often appreciates with a roll of the eyes: as much as it may ruin the song, it is empathy, not love, that makes the world go 'round.
Why do I say this? Here comes another one: if God is Love, and we cannot be God in His glorious essence and nature, then the energy of God—His Grace that flows out from our hearts which we can partake in—is empathy. Empathy then is the energy of Love.
My house was an absolute mess. Toys were scattered around the floors, doors to the outside stood open and flies came in to forage, grass and dirt littered the floor, and random cups, plates and shoes were all littered about. It was chaos. For several hours we had enjoyed the fellowship of company, of entertaining and eating, but now the day was drawing to a close and I felt restless. It was time to get things back into their place, to bring some order to the madness. It was time to see my kids bathed and in jammies, tucked away in cozy beds.
Several years ago God, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, saw fit to smite the radio in my car, so I don't listen to the news very much anymore. I do occasionally tune in when driving our other vehicle (which has a working radio), but I find that I've lost the taste for it. I can't stomach it, and usually turn it off after only a short time, because I realize now that 'the news' isn't news at all.
“Oh, it is such a shame they won’t remember it!” my friend said.
My husband and I had just invested a lot of money (money that might have been better used to fix up our house or to replace our 15-year-old van) to take our family of six to Europe for ten days next summer. We will be returning— for the first time as a family—to Skopje, Macedonia, where we lived from 2008-2011, before spending a day in Amsterdam.
“Maybe,” I said, admittedly a little bothered by her comment but aware that I was having similar thoughts.
My three-year-old daughter, Alethea, is plenty old enough to feed herself when we sit down to the table for dinner, but sometimes she doesn't want to. She will leave her food untouched until it is stone-cold because she would rather someone to spoon the food from the plate into her mouth.
The problem with really loving our students is that we really love our students. It’s a vulnerable situation. What if they don’t love us back? And what would be evidence of such love? That they treat us honorably? That they divulge their truest beliefs? That they recognize something in us worthy of imitation? And what if they don’t? Or worse, what if they do and then they devastate us with the ultimate failure of judgment?