My father was born in 1911. His school days were served at The Matata Convent School. He would often say that he went to school until Standard six. Which roughly translated, meant that he joined the workforce when becoming a teenager. His attitude towards Higher Education was typical of most working men of his time. Education was judged by its usefulness—that was it! Advanced education was, in his mind, only for Medical practitioners, Engineers that built dams and bridges, and Catholic Priests. Even the honour he heaped upon the Catholic Priests was due, in part, to the practical skills that they had to master during their seven years of training.
I’m sure that all would agree that a person’s educational potential starts with a combination of elements: “Good student, good school and good sense.” However, full potential in education is only achieved when “the will of God is sought and acted upon.
”Christians have taken education with them wherever they have gone. Their missionary war cry could easily have been: ‘There is no virtue in ignorance.’ God uses those of us of ‘ordinary’ intelligence for great things in the Kingdom of Christ. But this has never closed doors for extraordinary service for the ‘gifted’ among us.
Expressing this may seem superfluous given the built-in tendency of human beings to push the ‘smartest among us’ to the front. Undoubtedly, this practice has produced a lot of good fruit, but it has also led to much chaos when ‘the wisdom of man’ has displaced ‘the wisdom of God.’
A survey of the Bible will show that God used His ‘sharpest knives in the draw’ on many occasions. Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were Jewish slaves in Babylon. They were exceptional in mind and body: No physical defects, good-looking, intelligent, discerning, fit to serve in King Nebuchadnezzar’s court, and ten times wiser than the Chaldean advisers.
Yes, it is true that God endowed these men with special wisdom and knowledge, but they still had to have hearts to use all of these gifts for godliness. The threat of death itself was not enough to make them defile themselves with unclean food, or to worship idols, or to cease from praying to God.
In all their Schooling—GOD was at the centre—Therein was its usefulness!
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