Society would have us believe that education is solely the formation of the mind and that knowledge alone is the singular solution to all our woes. Culture is saturated with the message that the more we know, the better we become. If this is true, why do our problems seem to multiply? Why is it that the smarter we claim to be, the fewer answers we possess?
The question begs to be answered: “Is the acquisition and sharing of knowledge the primary aim in this process we call education?” Could it be that there is learning that takes place in other parts of our being, not just our heads? Do we dare intertwine the feeble heart with the strength of our intellectual capacity?
The Covenant Difference Reflected in Our Portrait of a Graduate
At Covenant, the first major principle in the Portrait of the Graduate is to Love God. It attests to our belief that God, the Creator of all things, must be at the center of all we do. In Matthew 22:37, Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This three-fold command shows that love for God cannot be segmented. It is not merely a moving of the heart, a discipline of the mind, or a supernatural transcendence of the soul. Remarkably, it is all these things in one.
So, how do we incorporate this love for God into our learning at Covenant? First and foremost, each day is started by opening God’s word, singing praises, and praying in Chapel. This daily act of worship allows us to focus our attention on the reason for our existence. But, that is not the end of it. The teachers at Covenant weave God into daily lessons throughout the curriculum in a very natural way. There are genuine interactions that are guided by a true love for the Savior. In addition, students are committed to memorizing Scripture and hiding God’s word in their hearts through recitation and other coursework. Our leadership reminds us that we must be humble. Love for God must begin with the acknowledgment of His omnipotence and the limitations of our humanity.
“Who Needs a Heart When a Heart Can Be Broken?”
At the intersection of spirituality and academia lies a truth that cannot be ignored. According to 1 Corinthians 13:8, “Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” Perhaps it boils down to the fact that earthly knowledge is temporary, but love is an eternal knowing that can only come from God himself.
In the charming modern tale, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Kate DiCamillo traces the path of a child’s toy rabbit who learns the hard way that love, and only love, is the key to life. In essence, without acknowledgment and honor of the giver of life, all other routes to finding purpose are dead ends. At one point in the story, the accuser states, “But answer me this, how can a story end happily if there is no love?”
Those of us who contemplate education must ask, “What is the ultimate end of our efforts?” The irony is that if we want to be whole, we must be broken. We must shed our disguises of self-righteous intelligence for a purer, deeper way of knowing. Education, then, does not become an either/or proposition. With the heart, mind and soul we can flourish if we are rooted and grounded in the love of the Father.
by Amy Davis, CCS 4th Grade Teacher