Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

Rocks and the Rock of Ages

He knows that nothing is more valuable to a Christian educator than a knowledge of Himself, the lodestone that keeps us all focused on things that matter.

North American February 5, 2017

Now, near the end of my nearly fifty-year career in teaching, I am enjoying the richness that carefully chosen themes add to my classroom experiences. A theme becomes the thread that ties together all our classroom worship events.  One such theme is “Rocks,” or sometimes “The God of the Rocks.” Having been a pebble pup in my childhood, tagging along with my rockhound father, I have a rather unique collection of rocks, including fossils from various states. I keep these in a large, rough-textured wooden bowl, which I bring to the classroom when this theme is chosen. I invite each student to take one and begin to think of how that particular rock could illustrate an aspect of God. With some synergistic scaffolding, my students always come up with exceptional connections that I would not have made myself. We rejoice together, we pray together, and we begin our studies with one more facet of our Walla Walla University School of Education and Philosophy conceptual framework shining brightly upon the content of the material that we are studying that day.

One reason this simple exercise is salient is that for twenty-first century pre-service educators, there is enormous pressure to blast God out of schools by the use of rocky fossils to shout a different narrative than that of the Bible. Nonetheless, through His written Word, God, softly and gently as talc powder, sustains those teachers, parents, and students who are disparaged, mocked, and derided by naturalistic scientists such as Richard Dawkins, who calls them crazy or wicked. Through God’s second book, nature, He sustains the courage of His people by dazzling displays of His beauty, more sensational than the blinding white gypsum in the White Sands National Monument and more complex than the shapes of any of the calcite stalagmites and stalactites known in earthly caves.

Christian educators who seek creativity in answering the convoluted arguments of secular humanists find that God’s Word offers more uniqueness than the exquisite Blue John fluorite stone, while reading His Word daily is more necessary than the apatite that makes up our bones and teeth. His providences are more omnipresent than the feldspar that is used to form drinking glasses, tableware, and fiberglass in our homes. When we seek Him, He is more reliable than a quartz crystal oscillator. Meanwhile, He seeks us with more intensity than the ancient Greeks ever sought their island topazes.  He is more precise than a ruby or sapphire laser, pulsing lovingly into our hearts and minds to see proteins folding and synapses signaling. He understands the tensions and stresses of twenty-first century living, and He is much tougher than aggregated diamond nanorods when it comes to taking pressure from anything to which this world or this universe can subject Him. He knows that nothing is more valuable to a Christian educator than a knowledge of Himself, the lodestone that keeps us all focused on things that matter.  He is, quite simply, THE ROCK.

Note: Article written and posted in English


Tamara Randolph

Tamara, Ph.D., is an Education professor at Walla Walla University in Washington, USA. She began her teaching career at Campion Academy in 1966. She says she has always taught for love. When she retires in June, 2017, she looks forward to spending more time with her six darling grandchildren, their amazing parents, and her beloved husband.

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