The Need for 20/20 Vision

hour glassAs we begin a new school year all across the country, I am reminded of something Alvin Toffler wrote several years ago.  He said,

All education springs from some image of the future.  If the image of the future held by society is inaccurate, its educational system will betray its youth.

This quote is a reminder of the importance of good vision when it comes to the education of our children.  We all have some image of the future that will determine what course of action we are going to take in life.  It is imperative that we have good vision to make sure we know where we are going as we strive to educate our children.

Unfortunately, I find many parents, teachers and students suffer from poor vision.  I am seeing that many of us suffer from a form of spiritual myopia or near sightedness.  This form of poor vision can lead to disastrous results when it comes to the education we provide our children.

I began wearing corrective lenses in ninth grade when an eye exam showed that I was near sighted.  Without those lenses I cannot see clearly where I am going.  I don’t have any problem reading or seeing things close up but when I look at things in the distance, everything is one big blur.  It would be very dangerous for me to try and drive some place when I don’t have these corrective lenses in place.

Spiritual myopia is also very dangerous.  When we suffer from this type of impaired vision, we are able to see the immediate future clearly.  However, when it comes to trying to see further down the road of life, everything is out of focus.  How do we know if our vision is impaired when it comes to the education we give our children and youth?  There are a couple of questions that we can ask ourselves that will give us some indication of whether or not we are suffering from poor spiritual eyesight.

I believe we would all agree that parents, church leaders and educators know the importance of giving our children the best education possible.  However, when you ask Christians why they want their children/students to have a good education, the most common answer you might hear goes something like this.  I want my child to have a good education so that they can get into a good college or university.

However, we won’t know if we have any impairment of our vision without following up on this type of answer with another question.  When I hear someone say that they want their children to have a good education so that they can get into a good college, I ask another simple question. Why?  The usual answer to this question usually centers on the desire for our children to get a good job.

Of course, when I hear this type of response, I once again ask the same simple question.  Why?  This will eventually result in parents and teachers explaining how they desire their children/students to be successful in life by getting a good paying job so that they can achieve some form of the American Dream.  We have a pretty clear focus of what we want for our children 5, 10, 0r even 20 years down the road.

However, what vision do we have for our children beyond this life?  I have begun asking parents, church leaders and educators another question.  When I ask them this question, I sometimes get a blank stare or puzzled look.  Here is the question.

Where do you want your child in 10,000 years?

The reality is that most Christians can see somewhat clearly down the road of life here on earth.  We envision our children getting good jobs, getting married, having children, buying a home and living a comfortable life.  We know what it will take for these things to fall into place.  However, when asked about what we want for our children beyond this life, everything is a big blur.  Yes, we want them to know Jesus and go the Heaven but it is something we don’t give very much thought to when it comes to how we educate our children.

Even when parents take their children to church regularly, enroll them in Christian schools or homeschool them, many of their reasons for doing so center around trying to prepare them for temporal life here on earth.  Because of this, I find many Christian educators striving to help parents prepare their children for the immediate future without having a clear vision for the next 10,000 years!

So as we start another school year, we need to ask ourselves this question.  How far down the road can we see clearly?  Do we have a clear God's kingdom crossvision that goes well out into eternity?  I like how author Kevin Swanson defines education.

Education is the preparation of a child physically, intellectually, spiritually and socially for life and eternity.

The last biblical principle that I share in my book, Kingdom Education, is this.

The education of children and youth must have a view of the future that includes the eternal perspective.

As we start a brand new school year, we need to make sure that we have clear vision for life and eternity.  If we don’t include an eternal perspective in all we do, the education we give our children will betray them.  We can never forget that we need to prepare our children for the next 10,000 years!

Glen Schultz

Author Glen Schultz

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Glen, do you think we will use the skills we learned in school in the next life, 10,000 years away? Will we use math skills? Writing skills? Science skills?

    • Glen Schultz says:

      I am not sure what skills we will use when eternity begins. We can’t just prepare for eternity and ignore life here on earth. God has us here for a purpose also. That is why I like Swanson’s definition of education. It is not either/or but both/and when it comes to the temporal and the eternal. My fear is that we only focus on the temporal and don’t keep an eternal perspective as we live life here for God’s glory. When we have an eternal focus, it affects our everyday life here on earth.

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