The Greek word for leisure (scholé) is the origin of Latin scola, from where we get the English word school. However the modern thought and context for the institutions of education and learning in our modern mindsets usually only emphasizes results, production and checklists, rather than “leisure.”
The classical ideal for education of any sorts was that its goal was truth seeking, not profit-earning. To be pursuing education, philosophy, or theology was to be at leisure, because one was not concerned with productivity, profit, or politics. It meant seeking truth, goodness, and beauty first and foremost, and laying aside personal agendas, prideful goals, and desires so that one could be open and able to embrace truth, goodness, and beauty wherever you saw it.
Unfortunately the idea of education, knowledge or self-improvement in many ways in the modern world is only seen as beneficial if it adds value, and usually only economic value. The pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty are often relegated to a place of minor importance in the big scheme of things, and we as a society are no doubt the poorer for it.
However God’s ways are so much higher than our ways and when we connect more with Him and how He thinks you discover afresh the truth that He did not create everything grey, merely functional, or only focused on production. Otherwise we would all look the same; there would be no colour, music or necessity for those things that are not entirely about productivity. Fortunately instead, God made us all unique, colourful, creative, and innovative. We innately are lovers of beauty, goodness and truth because that is who God is and we are all made in His image and likeness. (Genesis 1:27)
God encourages us in His word to not just be about results or profit, but to be a blessing to others and to embrace truth and goodness wherever we are because when we do that we reflect who He truly is. He want us to think on, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Essentially that we make our lives about, “doing things that will provide blessing, and not just things that have economic value.” (Dr Perrin)
An easy first step in bringing “schole” – the seeking of truth, goodness and beauty back into our lives is to begin to surround ourselves with whatever and whoever is true, good, and beautiful. That will mean different things for different people but it pays to keep in mind that what we focus and think upon is what we become. “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
Today I encourage you to consider what cultivating a life that seeks truth, goodness and beauty first and foremost looks like for you? Have you been simply seeing things as worthwhile and beneficial if you can put a price tag on them? Are you pursuing things for the joy and goodness found in them, or only for what it can get you or what the world says is worthwhile? Because life – the God kind of life, is to be filled with wonder, joy, goodness, kindness and fruitfulness. It’s what Jesus gave His life to give us, and which as we live it will draw and lead others to Him.
“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance [to the full, till it overflows]. (John 10:10 AMP)
“Or do you disregard the riches of His kindness, tolerance, and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)
Prayer: Lord thankyou for all the true, good, and beautiful people, places and things that surround me everyday. Please help me to see, appreciate and pursue these things more so that I might reflect your goodness and kindness to all those around me. In Jesus name Amen.