Sunday, August 16, 2009

College Tension

Things are really changing right now in the world. I've been re-evaluating my views on "College for all." So, I'm processing that and weighing the tension in various perspectives.

As an educator, I am well aware of the statistics on getting a bachelor's degree. Graduates tend to earn a more livable wage over time, are better able to get work that can help sustain support for a family, and moves a person ahead of so many others in competing for a job. And those facts are true no matter what the degree. I also know it is easiest and cheapest to complete a degree as soon as one can. Life adds other responsibilities as time passes that make going to school more complicated.

The college experiences broadens a person. It affords the opportunity to work with a wild variety of other people and ideas, process assignments independently to finish within a time limit, and to think deeply about many things, while giving a person more time to mature and become responsible. If circumstances set-up in such a way that the door to a college degree opens, it is a privilege to walk through that door.

All that said, I do not think God works in ways that make complete sense in the world of human (and American) logic. We are simply called to love God and others. We are equipped with gifts to build the body of Christ. So, I honestly no longer see college as the key to success for all, especially in Kingdom living.

I believe it is good to be careful with our limited resources of time and money, in order to focus on what God has for us today. I wish determining big things like our future, college or not, if so when, and how God wants to use us in the days to come was easier to determine. As a teacher, we are expected to equip kids for college. I no longer think that is the easy answer or the best for every person in God's plan.

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