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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Art of Self-Education

There is a certain mentality that sets pioneers apart. They are not afraid of change or challenge, and they always live in expectation that there will be a blessing at the end of their journey.

They also don't have much patience for wasteful pretense, vanity, or for the "book-learned" individual that has not earned his stripes through real-life application.

When a genuine pioneer sets out to learn something, it's purposeful. There isn't any time or space for sitting around to ponder for pride's sake; no exalted "food for thought" for fools or jesters, or for drifting aimlessly and ending up in the puffed-up regions of one's own mind. Spirituality is more concrete than abstract; God's existence is a given, and time spent in spiritual pursuits is all about knowing Him and serving Him just as He has asked, not about why He does or doesn't do things or any of that other cosmic-consciousness nonsense. 

Pioneers don't think much about education, they just live it. If they need to acquire some knowledge, they do what it takes to seek it out. They knock on doors and walk miles, if necessary, to gain every bit of understanding they need to accomplish the task that is fervent in their hearts. They spend hours in observing, and more hours in "cogitating" until concrete pictures begin to form in their minds and fill their dreams at night.

Even though it seems as though the whole earth has been conquered, we still need the stalwart and the brave; the thinkers to whom there are no boundaries. They are being born every day, we just need to stand aside and give them room to step out of the crowd.

In order to do this best, we need to give way to true education, which has never been about mice running through a maze to get a reward, but about learning things simply because they are necessary for living, exploring, creating and blessing others.

The system we have put in place is not about nourishing healthy minds, but about giving them Hostess Twinkies instead of steak and potatoes. They step up to the vending machines we call public schools and then press the appropriate buttons until we pronounce them "educated," but their minds are filled with empty conceit or a dread of a hopeless future.

Then we tell them to "grow up," and they stare blankly.

Homeschoolers know this, and this is why we are so very dangerous. In place of teaching our dear children how to circumnavigate around God's wisdom, we let them dive in, head first, and swim in it until they are filled, covered and immersed completely

In place of mere facts, we offer them ideals. Instead of "requirements," we give them true direction. Rather than a prefabricated world, we introduce them to the tools with which to create their own.

We don't sanction for original thought, we welcome it. We allow them the time, or even slow the pace, so that their thoughts can honestly take shape and solidify without the constant rapping of a thousand nonsensical commercials beckoning them to chase after every rabbit-trail and pipe-dream.

And when our work is done, we step back, and we watch, and the world wonders, and is blessed, by what God has wrought through our children.