Like many of you, one of my favorite things about having children attend The Habersham School is listening to them talk about what they are doing at school. In particular, I enjoy hearing both of my daughters (ages 6 and 16) recite words they have memorized from class. For example, my youngest child Evangeline is fond of praying this prayer in the mornings before she leaves for school:
Teach us, good Lord,
to serve you as you deserve,
to give and not to count the cost,
to fight and not to heed the wounds,
to toil and not to seek for rest,
to labor and not to ask for any reward,
save that of knowing that we do your will.
To hear that prayer from St. Ignatius on the lips of my child is both encouraging and convicting for me, and I am so grateful to Mrs. Holloway for teaching that to her. Similarly, I know that my oldest daughter, Cecilia, has memorized a good chunk of the first chapter of Colossians, thanks to her math teacher, Mr. Beaumont. He instills in his students the reality that Jesus is the one who created everything (including math!) and that Jesus holds all things together, from the cells in our bodies, to the molecules in the stars, to the very laws of mathematics themselves. Our God is both Creator and Sustainer, and to know Him, even through the study of math, literature, Latin, or music, is the purpose of life itself.
I contrast this with a couple of stories that have been in the headlines recently. The first relates to the school system in Toronto (representing over 600 schools) canceling an event with a young lady who escaped ISIS, after being held in slavery. She has since been fighting to end human trafficking, and even won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018. The second story that caught my attention is a legal case that came before the Supreme Court this past week. The Dobbs case, as it is known, directly raises the question of whether or not unborn children have a right to life. The verdict in this case is literally a matter of life and death.
In both of these news stories, we can see the tragic consequences of education that is not rooted in the truth of Scripture. While I don’t know for sure where the leaders of the Toronto school system received their education, I have a hunch that their institutions did not help them understand that there is true evil in this world, that all religious systems are not the same, and that the sincerity of one’s beliefs does not entail the truth of those beliefs. Similarly, the education of the lawyers and judges who are deciding whether unborn children have a right to live is more important than ever. Were they taught the truth that every human is made in God’s image, and therefore has inherent dignity and value? Were they taught the scientific and theological reality that life begins at conception? How much is such an education worth? What is the cost that our society will pay if schools like Habersham are not educating the leaders of tomorrow?
The truth is all education is costly. This includes financial considerations, of course, but more importantly it includes societal costs. Every citizen of our city, state, nation, and world is being educated somewhere, and being taught something. I am so thankful for your sacrificial investment in The Habersham School so that we can continue to teach our students to tenaciously pursue what is true, good, and beautiful as they themselves learn to “give, and not count the cost.”
Soli Deo Gloria,