In my last column (June 8), I wrote that, “Going to university or technical school has never and will never save anyone, irrespective of whether one majors in philosophy or computer engineering. Only the sacrificial death of the Lord Jesus can do that.”
If this is indeed the case, why would a young Christian person attend a college or university at all, especially since it’s expensive and may not even lead to a well-paying job? My answer is summed up in the following phrase: If you love the lover you will love the things the lover has made. Let me explain.
Colossians 1: 15-20 tells us that by Jesus “all things in heaven and earth were created, things visible and invisible.” Just as humans treasure things given to us by our lovers (friends, spouses, children, grandchildren), how much more should we treasure the things that our chief lover, Jesus, has made for us?
Made with love
Louisa and I have three small grandsons aged nine months, three years and five years old. Attached to our fridge are all manners of photos of these little boys, as well as scribbled drawings and paintings addressed in barely legible printing to “Oma and Opa with love.” We treasure these pictures not because they are beautiful or well executed (they’re not), but because we know they were made and given in love. If 10 years from now we are, Lord willing, still alive and our grandsons were to present us with similarly scribbled drawings, we would view them as hasty and insincere attempts of currying our favour. At a later point in their lives, our grandchildren’s love for us should be reflective of their growing maturity and their understanding of who we are and what we appreciate. Similarly, if we have the opportunity of learning more about the world Jesus has lovingly created for us, “things visible and invisible,” the more we are able to appreciate him, and the better and more consciously we will be able to serve him. For as Psalm 119: 91b reminds us, “all things are your [God’s] servants.”
Advanced schooling pursued with ardour and humility will help us to see that “in him all things hold together.” And such an understanding, “of shoes and ships and sealing wax; of cabbages and kings, and why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings” and all manner of other wonders of the world, will cause us to love the Lover even more. And as our love and understanding grows, we who are already saved by his love will be all the more equipped to serve God and our fellow creatures. So, take full advantage of schooling if it is available to you, not only for your own benefit, but also for the benefit of those whom you are better able to serve. However, if schooling is not available to you, remember that you are already loved and saved and that “they also serve who only stand and wait” (John Milton)